Notes for an address to the Athens District Chamber of Commerce

December 01, 2013

Thank you - And welcome everyone.

As the Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville I am pleased to be here today to join with Chamber members at this pre-Christmas event.

Small business is the backbone of our economy here in Canada and organizations such as the Chamber have an important role to play in promoting and maintaining the businesses in our communities.

I know your Chamber is active year round and I congratulate the board members and volunteers on the work they accomplish in your community.

Our government’s commitment to small business is well known.

Just this past week the second part of this year’s budget bill received Royal Assent.

With Royal Assent, our Government is poised to implement a number of outstanding measures from Economic Action Plan 2013.

Canada continues to see the best job growth in the Group of Seven (with almost 1.1 million jobs created since July 2009.

As we close in on our goal of returning to balanced budgets in 2015, with an expected surplus of $3.7 billion in 2015–16, the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 sets the stage for more job creation, more economic growth and greater prosperity for all Canadians.

The Economic Action Plan 2013 positions Canada for long-term success with key measures to support job creators, such as:

Freezing Employment Insurance premium rates for three years, leaving an estimated $660 million in the pockets of job creators and workers in 2014 alone;

Increasing and indexing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption, to make investing in small business more rewarding; and

Extending and expanding the temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business, which will benefit an estimated 560,000 employers in 2013.

Our Government understands the importance of responsible spending and balanced budgets for long-term economic growth and stability.

We remain on track to get back to balance in 2015, without raising taxes or cutting investments in health care and social service transfers, just as we promised Canadians.

We have also had tremendous success with our free trade agenda and just recently announced the free trade deal with the European Union that will bring opportunities to Canadian entrepreneurs in the years ahead.

That agreement is expected to come into effect within two years.

All of these items are good news for the Canadian economy and small businesses such as those that support this Chamber of Commerce.

As I wrap up I would just like to acknowledge and congratulate the recipients of this year’s Chamber awards:

Karen Cook who received the President's Award

Howard Travel / Howard Bus Lines - Business of the Year Award who are celebrating 58 years of Service

Kevin Tackaberry - Citizen of the Year

Well deserved each one.

Thank you again for inviting me to be here today.