I have received a number of emails from constituents questioning the size and comprehensiveness of our Budget 2012-13. First, let me say that this budget is a continuation of our Economic Action Plan. The Economic Action Plan is your government’s comprehensive strategy for jobs and growth for Canada.
The plan covers many economic sectors and government ministries and hence a large, very detailed budget, addressing everything from the Environmental Review Process, to Employment Insurance policy; to skills training for labour market needs, to immigration policy for labour market needs; and investments in technology and innovation, just to name a few initiatives.
Government services or regulations have not been watered down in the budget, just streamlined and simplified. To help Canada through these uncertain economic times we need to move forward quickly and remain focused if we are to have jobs for all needing employment. While keeping taxes low we still need economic growth in order to be able to pay for public services, seniors’ programs, and pay down the national debt.
The Human Resources Development Canada Standing Committee, of which I am a member, has been studying labour and skills shortages in Canada. The mining sector has forecasted $500B in capital investment in the next ten years. The Construction Trade Unions have told us they will need a minimum of 250,000 more trades people in the next ten years. Healthcare workers, the high tech sector, and almost every level of government service, will need up to 50% replacement workers just for retirees in the next ten years. We need to plan now for our economic future.
I cannot fathom why the parties across the floor want your government to change course. The ‘Proof is in the Pudding’. The Plan is working. Canadians have the best debt to GDP in the G20. Our banks have been acclaimed as the most secure in the world. Our job growth since the economic slowdown is the highest in the G7, and the IMF has stated that Canada is the best positioned country in the world coming out of the economic slowdown. So why would the opposition want to change course?
The 2012-2013 Budget has been debated more than any budget in twenty years. Once the bill was referred to committee, a special sub-committee was created to focus on the Responsible Resource Development Changes. After three nights of sitting, Conservative MPs were there, witnesses were there, but the NDP critics were not. The Opposition cried about process because they have nothing useful to say. We know this because we've given them an unprecedented amount of time to debate the bill and they have had nothing to say at every turn.
Colin Mayes, MP