Souris-Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki says that in the past year, the Conservative government has focused on its No. 1 priority, the economy, by introducing the 2012 Economic Action Plan, which included two budget implementation bills.
“The plan is working,” he said in a press release. “Since July of 2009 when the global recession hit, over 820,000 net new jobs were created, the best growth record of all G7 economies, with 90 per cent of these new jobs being private sector-created full-time positions, and more than two-thirds in high wage industries.”
Challenges remain in the global economy, and particularly in the United States and Europe, he said. Much has been said of the American fiscal cliff, which many hope will be resolved, and the sovereign debt and banking crisis in the Euro area, which have the potential to fuel another global downturn.
Komarnicki believes there appears to be more downsides than upsides, with respect to the economy, at least in the short-term.
He expects that the government will continue to seek foreign trade deals and attract foreign investment, subject to ensuring that the foreign investment is of net benefit to Canada, and that national security interests are respected.
He believes a number of particular steps have been taken throughout the year to ensure continued economic growth and deficit reduction, including:
*Cutting government expenses, moving pension plans for MP’s, senators and public servants to a 50/50 cost sharing basis and changing the age of retirement to 65 for all MP’s, senators and newly hired public servants.
*Making changes to the Canada Grain Act, which remove certain Canadian Grain Commission services that are no longer required, and allow the Canadian Grain Commission to focus on its core objectives.
*Reducing regulatory burdens by moving to a one project, one environmental review model.
*Replacing the Navigable Waters Protection Act, a perennial thorn in the side of local rural municipalities and landowners who were seeking to make developments near or on waterways with the new Navigation Protection Act. This new act will remove the federal oversight requirement for projects affecting waterways other than 100 listed lakes and oceans and 62 listed rivers.
*Increasing the Tax-Free Savings Account Contribution limit by $500, to a total of $5,500 per year.
*Introducing legislation that expedites refugee reviews from Designated Countries of Origin from an average of 1,038 days to 171 days.
*Improving Canadian food safety by announcing $51.2 million dollars of additional funding over the next two years to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada.
*Passing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which will disclose the salaries and expenses of band chiefs and councillors.
*Ending the Canadian Wheat Board’s Monopoly and finally bringing marketing freedom back to Western Canadian Grain farmers.
The government also delivered on a longstanding promise to end the long-gun registry, which he said needlessly targeted law abiding gun owners, farmers and hunters, instead of focusing on real crime.