Our government has finally passed our budget, which was tabled in March 2012, nearly 3 months ago. The document will continue growth and prosperity for Canadians following the 2008 recession. This budget will also build on our past Economic Action Plan budgets, to protect us against the serious financial crisis around the world, particularly in Europe, which is very concerning for us all. We’ve had more than 50 hours of debate in the House of Commons, more than any budget bill in the past 20 years, and we’ve had an additional 50 hours of debate at the finance committee. As part of the opportunity for input, our government also set up a sub-committee on the environment to hear from witnesses and other political party members to get their input for changes. It was disappointing to see that the environment critics for the NDP failed to show up to have their say and the Liberals couldn’t find a witness to support their position. Our government also offered to extend debate further on C-38, but to my surprise, and likely yours as well, the NDP voted against that then went on to complain that there hadn’t been enough debate. I am proud to have spent over 23 hours straight voting in support of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
European Bail Out
In advance of the upcoming G20 Summit, our government has made it clear we will not be transferring Canadian tax dollars to bail out banks in the Eurozone. We do not believe our taxpayers should be on the hook for the European debt crisis. Europe has the fiscal capacity to deal with the financial crisis, but many European countries seem to lack the leadership to make the tough political decisions to deal with it. This is what separates Canada’s leadership from most other countries. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae have made the call this week for us to send billions to Europe to “bail them out”, but we stand firm in our decision. We also believe, like many others, that sending those dollars could in fact worsen the situation as it would negate the need for swift political action to deal with the spending crisis of those governments.
Tax Freedom Day
This past Tuesday was Tax Freedom Day, arriving more than two weeks earlier than when we were elected to office. That means Canadians are keeping more of their hard-earned money where it belongs – in their own pockets! That’s the result of over 140 tax reductions by our government. In fact, we’ve cut taxes in every single area where government collects them, saving an average family more than $3,100 each year. At the same time, we’ve completely removed more than 1 million low-income Canadians, most of them seniors, from the tax rolls. That stands in stark contrast with the NDP and Liberals, who have stated that if they were given the chance, they would hike the GST back up, implement a carbon tax on just about everything we purchase, and raise the business tax, hurting our local businesses. All of this, to help bail out Eurozone banks which have failed to take responsible actions to correct their situation.
Making a Difference For Women and Girls
I’m sure all of us can think of someone who goes that extra mile to encourage equality for women and girls. Status of Women Canada is accepting nominations right now for the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case; recognizing the outstanding contributions Canadians are making to advance equality. Only five female recipients will be chosen from across the country, including two from the youth category (15-30 years old). It would be great to have one come from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex! For information on how to nominate someone, head to www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/gg/index-eng.html
Local Man Making a Difference
It was a pleasure to meet up with brain injury survivor Troy Adams from the Watford-area this week. He passed through Ottawa on his cross-Canada run to raise awareness and money for brain injuries. You can find out more at www.troysrun.com Good luck Troy!
Troy Adams (in grey) and his team.
Bev Shipley, M.P., Lambton-Kent-Middlesex