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May 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM



PM concludes successful G-20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Nov 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Brisbane, Australia

Introduction

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today concluded a two-day visit to Brisbane, Australia, where he participated in the G-20 Leaders’ Summit on November 15 and 16, 2014. The visit was part of a broader trip to the region, which included a stop in Auckland, New Zealand, for an official visit. He was joined by Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance.

During the Brisbane Summit, leaders determined a number of concrete actions that the G-20 can take to strengthen the global economy. Discussions focused on infrastructure investment, job creation, increasing global trade, and strengthening collaboration on energy. Leaders also took stock of agreed-upon measures aimed at modernizing the international tax system and strengthening the financial system. All G-20 members put forward comprehensive growth strategies with a view to lifting their collective gross domestic product (GDP) over the next five years, by more than two per cent above the trajectory that was in place at the last G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg.

On the margins of the Summit, Prime Minister Harper met with the leaders of India, the EU, Spain and Senegal.

The Prime Minister also announced his upcoming participation in the 15th Summit of la Francophonie being held in Dakar, Senegal, on November 29 and 30, 2014.

Quick Facts

  • The G-20 Summit brings together the leaders of major advanced and emerging economies.
  • Together, the members of the G-20 account for more than 85 per cent of the world’s economy and two-thirds of the world’s population, making the G-20 the premier forum for international economic cooperation. For the last six years, the G-20 has played a significant role in mitigating the adverse effects of the financial and economic crisis that was felt across the globe in 2008.
  • G-20 leaders are meeting at a time when the global economy is confronted by a number of challenges, including geopolitical tensions and slowing growth in some emerging market economies.
  • In Canada, the economy has performed well and continues to grow. However, as an open market economy with 30 per cent of its GDP coming from exports, Canada remains vulnerable to external uncertainties.

“This year’s G-20 meeting was a success, with members committing to actions that will help the global economy return to strong growth. I congratulate Australia for hosting the Summit and keeping the agenda tightly focused on promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes, and making the global economy more resilient. I was pleased to convey to other members how our Government’s short-term stimulus, cost reductions and ambitious free trade agenda are contributing to the strength of Canada’s economy.

“Canada will continue to press G-20 members to fully meet their current and past commitments, which is essential to generating jobs and prosperity around the globe.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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Federal Gas Tax Fund Supports Infrastructure in St. Catharines Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Nov 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Second instalment of annual $2 billion transfer available for municipal infrastructure

St. Catharines - Member of Parliament Rick Dykstra announced today that the second installment of the federal Gas Tax Fund for 2014 is being made available to support local infrastructure priorities. With this installment, more than $3.8 million is being made available to the city of St. Catharines. 

In Ontario, this has meant access to close to $5.4 billion to date for community projects.

Since 2006, our Government has made significant improvements to the Gas Tax Fund:

  • In 2007 it was extended;
  • In 2009 it was doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion annually;
  • In 2011 it was legislated as a permanent source of funding; and, 
  • In 2013 it was indexed at 2 percent per year, meaning that it will grow by $1.8 billion over the next decade.

Quick Facts

  • The federal Gas Tax Fund transfer has provided $14 billion to Canadian communities to date. Over the 10-year life of the New Building Canada Plan from 2014 to 2024, the Gas Tax Fund will provide close to $22 billion in funding for municipalities.
  • Federal Gas Tax funding is provided up front, twice a year to Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and Toronto administer the program in the province. Projects are chosen by local governments and support the local infrastructure priorities of each community.
  • Thanks to new, expanded eligible investment categories, funding can now be spent in the following areas: drinking water; wastewater; solid waste; public transit; local roads and bridges; community energy systems; capacity building; disaster mitigation; broadband connectivity; highways; short-line rail; short-sea shipping; brownfield redevelopment; regional and local airports; and projects supporting culture, tourism, sport and recreation.
  • The federal Gas Tax Fund is the largest component of the New Building Canada Plan, which provides $53 billion in funding to communities across the country over the next decade.
    • By enshrining these commitments in legislation, provinces, territories and municipalities are assured of an ongoing funding stream to address their municipal infrastructure needs and priorities.
  • Federal GTF payments flow twice a year, generally in July and November, to provincial and territorial governments. Provinces and territories and, in some cases, municipal associations, in turn, distribute the municipal allocations in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in their respective funding agreements with municipalities. The actual timing of the second payment varies, depending on the administrative requirements in respective agreements with each province or territory.

“Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, our government is providing stable, predictable funding so that Canadian communities can address their local infrastructure priorities”, said Dykstra. “Our government is pleased to invest in important infrastructure projects as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth, and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada.”

To learn more about the projects the Gas Tax has supported in St. Catharines, click here.

Associated Links

  • Learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund
  • Additional information on the New Building Canada Plan
  • Learn more about the Government of Canada's focus on jobs and the economy consult Canada’s Economic Action Plan

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Government of Canada Releases Economic and Fiscal Update Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Nov 12, 2014 at 03:27 PM

Canada remains on track for a balanced budget in 2015

Finance Minister Joe Oliver today released the annual Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections,which confirms that the Government remains on track for a balanced budget in 2015, with an expected surplus of $1.9 billion.

Minister Oliver outlined Canada’s impressive success in creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. In contrast to Canada, the Minister noted weak and uneven global growth in the aftermath of the deepest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression. In comparison to difficult economic situations faced by other countries, Minister Oliver emphasized the Harper Government’s continued commitment to its low-tax plan to create jobs and growth.

Minister Oliver also highlighted the Government’s latest tax cuts and benefits to put more money back in the hands of Canadian families: increasing and expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut, increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction limits, and doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable, thereby making it more affordable for Canadian families to raise healthy kids.

Quick Facts

  • The Harper Government’s latest tax cuts and benefits represent close to $27 billion back in the pockets of families over this year and the next five years.
  • Every Canadian family with children under the age of 18 will have more money in their pockets because of these tax cuts and benefits.
  • The overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in over 50 years.
  • Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than in July 2009, when the recovery began, representing an increase of 7.3 per cent and one of the strongest job creation performances in the Group of Seven (G-7).
  • The Harper Government remains committed to helping businesses thrive and create well-paid jobs for Canadians. The new Small Business Job Credit will make hiring new workers or investing in additional training easier for entrepreneurs and help them grow their business.
  • The federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is expected to fall to below its pre-recession level by 2017, helping to ensure that Canada’s total government net debt continues to decline and remains the lowest of any G-7 country. The Government is well on its way to meeting its commitment to reduce the federal debt to 25 per cent of GDP by 2021.
  • In addition to growing the size of the economy, the Government will reduce the size of the federal debt with unused annual contingency funds.

“Canada has come a long way. However, the global economy remains fragile. Our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has a plan to meet these challenges—a plan that is working—and we need to stay the course. Our Government is taking steps to put more money back into the pockets of Canadian families. We will continue to take the action necessary to secure prosperity for this generation and the next. Our Government’s top priority remains our commitment to Canadians to create jobs and opportunities for all Canadians, from coast to coast to coast.”

- Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

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Update on Operation IMPACT - CAF actions against ISIL Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Nov 05, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Update on Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the coalition against the ISIL.

Since September, the coalition has conducted hundreds of airstrikes to degrade and defeat ISIL.

As of October 28th, all of our air assets arrived in theatre: six CF-188 Hornet fighters, one CC-150 Polaris tanker and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and about 600 personnel supporting air operations.

On October 30th, all of our aircraft commenced air operations over Iraqi airspace.

On November 2nd, CF-188 Hornets conducted Canada’s first combat airstrike on ISIL targets. The four enemy targets were located near a dam, west of Fallujah and consisted of heavy engineering vehicles such as bulldozers and a dump truck.

These vehicles have been used to build ISIL’s defensive positions, and to rebuild the dam. The dam has been used to cause extensive flooding in the Anbar province and as a way to apply pressure on Iraqi authorities.

Our forces worked with the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre and coalition targeting assets during the approximate four-hour flight. 500-pound laser-guided bombs destroyed and damaged the vehicles identified and removed them from further employment.

As the coalition has said from the beginning, air strikes alone will not defeat ISIL. We are supporting the Iraqi security forces in collaboration with our coalition partners, through airstrikes and training, as they lead the fight in Iraq. Canada is resolved to help bring peace and stability to the region.

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Last Updated ( Nov 05, 2014 at 11:48 AM )
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - 20 Years Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Nov 03, 2014 at 11:36 AM

NAFTA @ 20

History

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush, came into effect on January 1, 1994.
  • The NAFTA was built on the success of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and provided a compliment to Canada’s efforts through the WTO agreements by making deeper commitments in some key areas.
  • With the signing of the NAFTA, the world's largest free trade area was formed. The Agreement has brought economic growth and rising standards of living for people in all three countries.
  • The NAFTA, being the first comprehensive trade agreement of its type, has set a valuable example of the benefits of trade liberalization for the rest of the world.
  • In the event of a dispute, the NAFTA directs the governments concerned to seek to resolve their differences amicably through the NAFTA’s Committees and Working Groups or other consultations. If no mutually acceptable solution is found, the NAFTA provides for dispute settlement procedures. One of the principle elements of the NAFTA is the establishment of a clear set of rules for dealing with the settlement of disputes. The NAFTA was the first agreement to afford cross-border investors an impartial legal tribunal to address differences.
  • Under the NAFTA, tariffs on all covered goods traded between Canada and Mexico were eliminated in 2008. Tariffs on covered goods traded between Canada and the United States became duty free on January 1, 1989, in accordance with the CUSFTA which was carried forward under NAFTA.

Prosperity

  • Since 1994, NAFTA has generated economic growth and rising standards of living for the people of all three member countries. By strengthening the rules and procedures governing trade and investment throughout the continent, NAFTA has proven to be a solid foundation for building Canada’s future prosperity.
  • NAFTA has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the Canadian economy. It has opened up new export opportunities, acted as a stimulus to build internationally competitive businesses, and helped attract significant foreign investment.
  • By any measure the NAFTA has been a success by serving as a basis to grow both trilateral and bilateral North American relationships and the results speak for themselves. Our integration helps maximize our capabilities and make our economies more innovative and competitive. In 1993, trilateral trade within the North American region was US$289 billion. In 2012, our total trilateral merchandise trade reached nearly US$1.1 trillion – an increase of nearly 3.7 times in US dollar terms.
  • Reflecting the prosperity and development of the region, the North American economy has more than doubled in size since 1994. The combined gross domestic product (GDP) for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico was US$19.2 trillion in 2012 up from nearly US$8.0 trillion in 1993.
  • Cooperation through the NAFTA has created a North America where Canadian, American and Mexican companies do more than make and sell things to each other, now, our companies increasingly make things together. For example, over half of Canadian manufacturing exports to the U.S. are intermediate exports.

Investment

  • The NAFTA’s provisions ensure greater certainty and stability for investment decisions by guaranteeing fair, transparent and non–discriminatory treatment of investors and their investments throughout the free trade area.
  • The NAFTA has contributed to enhancing Canada’s attractiveness to foreign investors while providing more opportunities for Canadians to invest in NAFTA partners’ economies. Investment is a key pillar of economic growth. In 2012, the stock of investment in Canada from U.S. was CA$326.5 billion, while Canada has invested CA$295 billion in our NAFTA partners.
  • Canada and the U.S. have one of the world’s largest investment relationships with a bilateral investment stock totalling almost CA$616.0 billion in 2012, according to Canadian statistics.
    The stock of Canadian direct investment in Mexico has increased dramatically since NAFTA entered into force, reaching nearly $5.6 billion in 2012, up from only $530 million in 1993.

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