A little more than one year ago, Canadians gave our Conservative government a majority mandate. In doing so they sent a message: Our country must seize the future with both hands.
After nearly a decade of minority government, and all the divisive rhetoric that goes with the constant campaigning, Canadians chose a path. They want a government to turn the page on past battles and build a more prosperous future.
That’s exactly what we’re doing with this year’s budget, Economic Action Plan 2012.
More than just a list of projected expenditures, Budget 2012 is a road map to the future Canadians have chosen. It deals with a variety of issues including: reducing and eliminating the deficit, job creation, Employment Insurance reform, ensuring the viability of Old Age Security for future generations and streamlining immigration.
Also included in our government’s budget is our Responsible Resource Development program, which balances environmental protection with economic growth, limits foreign influence in our decisions and ensures timely approval of development plans.
Canada will move towards a “one project, one review” system that will prevent long delays in major economic projects. Also included in the budget are strong new measures to protect the environment, including making environmental impact decisions enforceable with the full weight of the law, adding stiff new penalties for noncompliance with those decisions and adding new funding to enhance marine shipping and pipeline safety.
All of these changes, and many others, will play a key role in our country’s future economic prospects. Thus, they must be included in the budget bill in order to craft a truly comprehensive plan.
Budget 2012 is an ambitious project. This is as it should be. It is a comprehensive bill that outlines a turning point for our Canada’s economy. Is it complex? Yes. I believe that when it comes to setting a new course for our country, complexity is no vice.
Unlike the previous federal Liberal government, often accused of writing its budget on the back of a napkin, our Conservative government reaches for more than just the talking points.
Our government recognizes this year’s budget is far more comprehensive than past documents. To that end, we have taken steps to ensure this legislation will be debated for longer than any other budget bill of at least the past two decades.
We even created a special sub-committee to focus on our proposed Responsible Resource Development changes. The sub-committee, which was made up of members from all parties, heard from dozens of witnesses, had several hours of debate and produced a report based on what it heard. The Standing Committee on Finance is also reviewing the Budget Implementation Act in its entirety.
Overall, I believe our government is delivering on the mandate given to us ensure lower taxes, more jobs and economic growth for all Canadians.
A brighter future is within our grasp. I believe Budget 2012 seizes that future with both hands.
Wild Rose M