Souris-Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki has reacted to the federal budget, which was handed down on Tuesday.
“There is no doubt that this budget is a continuation of a steadfast focus on what matters most to Canadians, namely, growing the economy, helping create jobs, and balancing the budget by 2015,” said Komarnicki.
“The budget does that by introducing positive measures to help create jobs, keeping taxes low for Canadians and their families, and, most importantly, returning to balance, something most Canadians want us to do. In fact, the budget projects a surplus of $6.4 billion for 2015-16.
He said these trends are happening without raiding the employment insurance fund, cutting health or social transfers, or raising taxes.
“While Canada has the strongest job creation record among all G-7 countries, with more than one million net new jobs created since the depth of the global recession, too many Canadians are still looking for work,” said Komarnicki. “That’s why Economic Action Plan 2014 will continue our Conservative government’s focus on creating more jobs and growing the economy in Souris-Moose Mountain and across the country.”
Komarnicki said the budget includes targeted initiatives and key measures to support Saskatchewan families and strengthen the economy, including:
*Launching the Canada Job Grant, so that Canadians can get the skills training they need for in-demand jobs.
*Creating the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will provide apprentices in red seal trades with access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year.
*Launching a job matching service to automatically match Canadians looking for work with employers looking to hire them.
*Increasing paid internships for young Canadians through a $55 million investment to create paid internships for recent graduates in small and medium-sized businesses, and in high-demand fields.
*Helping older workers get back to work by investing $75 million in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers to support older workers who want to participate in the job market.
*Cutting red tape for small business by cutting 800,000 payroll remittances for 50,000 small businesses.
*Making landmark investments in research and innovation through $1.5 billion over the next decade for research at universities through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
*Supporting families by enhancing tax relief for families adopting a child, expanding tax relief for health-related services, capping wholesale wireless rates to make service more affordable, and cracking down on cross-border price discrimination.
*Strengthening communities by improving broadband in rural and remote communities, establishing a $200 million National Disaster Mitigation Program to help communities prepare for natural disasters, and introducing a Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit.
*Standing up for victims of crime by implementing the Victim’s Bill of Rights and proving funding for a DNA-based Missing Persons Index.
On a more specific basis, there were a number of additional initiatives that Komarnicki said are of particular interest:
*The elimination of the value of student owned vehicles from Canada Student Loans Program assessment process, something that students have lobbied for. Komarnicki said it will be of interest to many students who live in rural Saskatchewan.
*The provision of $20 million over two years to the National Energy Board to review pipeline project applications such as TransCanada Pipelines Energy East Project that would carry crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada.
*Launching a new pilot price insurance program to cattle and hog producers in Western Canada, offering insurance against unanticipated price declines.
*Expansion of the type of farming livestock that qualify for tax deferral on sale by farmers dealing with drought or excess moisture conditions.
*A $5 million per year increase in funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
*Exploring options for a national approach to residential flood insurance.
*Significant investment for reforming First Nations Kindergarten to Grade 12 education.
Komarnicki said the Tories will also continue to grow provincial transfers to record levels. For Saskatchewan, the federal budget will have a transfer of $1.4 billion in 2014-15.