Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Post-Budget Speech at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Cambridge, Ontario

April 24, 2015

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests.

It's a pleasure to be here again. As some of you know, I was here just last week. Hopefully those of you who were here remember that I talked about the economic conditions of the country and more particularly of southern Ontario.

This morning, I'd like to talk to you about our Government's priorities following the recent Budget – Economic Action Plan 2015. And what better place to do so than at the second largest Chamber of Commerce in the province of Ontario!

As advocates for businesses in Cambridge, your support and dedication plays an important role in fostering a strong, competitive economic environment that benefits businesses, communities and families in this region.

Today, Cambridge's business community is vibrant and prosperous, showing signs of continued strong growth and development potential.

Naturally, this topic is important to me in my role as Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, or FedDev Ontario.

As many of you here today know, supporting this region's economy is the focus of FedDev Ontario.

At FedDev Ontario, we see our role not only as a co-investor, but also as a delivery agent, champion and convenor for the region.

We know the importance of supporting our entrepreneurs when they need it most.

In the Kitchener-Waterloo region, FedDev Ontario has invested over $119 million in 116 projects!

And with measures outlined in Economic Action Plan 2015, we will continue to support communities like Cambridge.

As Minister of State for FedDev Ontario and as your local MP, I am proud to represent you in Ottawa and to share with you some exciting things to come.

As my colleague the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Finance Minister outlined three days ago, our Government is committed to balancing the budget, supporting small businesses and manufacturers, supporting Canadian families and reducing taxes for Canadians.

Our strategy is working.

Since the depths of the Great Recession, more than 1.2 million net new jobs have been created—overwhelmingly full-time, well-paying and in the private sector.

At the same time, our Government, under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Harper, has lowered taxes every year since coming into office, and has delivered the lowest overall federal tax burden in more than 50 years.

According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G-7 and 46 percent lower than those in the United States.

Low taxes encourage capital investment, which in turn spurs job creation.

But we know we can do more to support small business and entrepreneurs.

Economic Action Plan 2015 cuts taxes even further for small business owners. It proposes to reduce the small business tax rate to 9 percent by 2019. This will be the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in more than 25 years.

It is estimated that this measure will reduce taxes for small businesses and their owners by $2.7 billion from 2015 to 2020.

For example, the amount of federal income tax paid by a small business with $500,000 of taxable income is already 34 percent lower in 2015 than in 2006. By 2019, our Government will have decreased taxes for this business by 46 percent since 2006.

Alongside lower taxes, businesses also need access to capital if they are expected to develop and transform.

That is why our Government is introducing changes to the Canada Small Business Financing Program. This program facilitates the extension of loans by participating private sector financial institutions to small businesses, for the acquisition of real property and equipment, and for leasehold improvements.

The program helps new businesses get started; helps established firms make improvements and expand; improves access to loans that would not otherwise be available to small businesses; and, stimulates economic growth and creates jobs for Canadians.

Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to amend the Canada Small Business Financing Act to make two changes:  first, increase the maximum loan amount for real property from $500,000 to $1 million and second, raise the small business eligibility criteria from firms with gross annual revenues of $5 million or less to firms with gross annual revenues of $10 million or less.

We will also propose to increase the maximum duration of government coverage for real property loans from 10 to 15 years under the Canada Small Business Financing Program.

These changes will help enhance the ability of small businesses across Canada to secure capital, grow their business, and create jobs.

Entrepreneurship is also critical for job creation and fostering economic growth.

To help create the business leaders of tomorrow, I am proud that our Government will be providing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that works with young people, providing them with mentorship and resources to start their own business.

I am equally proud of our commitment to supporting the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs.

Key initiatives under the Action Plan include an online platform to encourage networking, enhanced trade missions for companies led by women entrepreneurs, and additional financing through the Business Development Bank of Canada for women-owned businesses.

Now, in my current role as FedDev Minister, I speak to a lot of business owners. And having owned my own business as well, I know that any entrepreneur will tell you that running a small business means long hours and selfless sacrifice. Our Government believes their time is best served growing their businesses, rather than being bogged down in taxes and red tape.

That is why cutting red tape is a priority for this Government and for this Prime Minister.

Since its implementation in 2012, the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan has proved to be a successful control on the rise of red tape while maintaining high standards for safety and protection.

Economic Action Plan 2015 will build on these successes to reduce the tax compliance burden faced by businesses.

That includes a new quarterly remitter category for the smallest new employers, reducing remittance frequency by two thirds.

Economic Action Plan 2015 also has important measures for the manufacturing sector.

The Canadian manufacturing industry and its workers are one of the key engines of the Canadian economy, representing a vital source of jobs and economic growth for many communities.

Through lower taxes and strategic investments in key industries, our government has provided strong support in the form of an accelerated capital cost allowance for machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing.

This new 10-year tax incentive will result in a deferral that is expected to reduce federal taxes for manufacturers by $1.1 billion over the period from 2016 to 2020.

Providing the new incentive over a 10-year period gives businesses greater planning certainty for larger projects that take time to fully realize, including those with multiple phases.

When Canadian companies invest in state-of-the-art equipment and structures, they increase their productivity and competitiveness.

And what is good for Canadian manufacturers is good for Canadians, as they employ close to 1.7 million people all across the country in good jobs that pay well.

Canada's auto parts industry is a fundamental part of our manufacturing sector.

To help this sector continue to create jobs for Canadians, we are launching the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. This investment of $100 million over the next five years will support our auto parts industry as it continues to evolve, and to establish a secure role in global supply chains.

The program will help mitigate the risks involved in bringing research and development projects to commercial viability by supporting product development and technology demonstration on a cost-shared basis with participating firms.

Speaking of R&D, our Government recognizes that transforming ideas into high value goods and services means more opportunities for businesses to develop and grow – creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.

For that, we need a highly skilled workforce, a strong science and technology base, as well as robust infrastructure to support bringing ideas to life.

Since 2006, the Government has invested more than $13 billion in new funding in all facets of the innovation ecosystem including advanced research, talent development, research infrastructure, and business innovation.

Economic Action Plan 2015 will build on this. We will provide more than $1.5 billion in funding over five years to advance the Government's renewed science and technology strategy. This includes stable long-term support for advanced research through the federal granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

We will create a more efficient and effective national digital research infrastructure by investing in CANARIE—Canada's world-class high-speed research and education network.

We will support industry-partnered research and development activities of the National Research Council. This will transform knowledge into jobs and growth, making federal support more responsive to business needs.

Another project I was excited to see in the Budget, was the $42 million proposed over five years, for Baycrest Health Sciences to support the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation. This funding includes $32 million in support from FedDev Ontario. In addition to providing world-class geriatric healthcare, Baycrest is home to a leading academic health sciences centre, affiliated with the University of Toronto and collaborating with research institutions across North America.

The last area of the Budget that I will touch on briefly is international trade.

Access to foreign markets and the reduction of trade barriers are also necessary to help Canadian exporters grow.

Since 2006, the Government has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries, bringing Canada's total to 43.

With new trade agreements completed and more being finalized, Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes $152 million in trade promotion investments over the next five years to help Canadian businesses fully capitalize on global opportunities.

This includes the creation of an export market development program to share the financial costs with Canadian businesses as they explore and pursue new export opportunities around the world.

It includes expanding the highly successful Trade Commissioner Service to help our entrepreneurs navigate new, exciting markets for their products.

It includes funding for programs aimed at addressing market access issues and promoting exports for the agriculture and agri-food sector.

And it includes establishing an Internal Trade Promotion Office to help unleash our trade potential, right here at home.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud of the initiatives we are proposing, to continue supporting businesses, workers, manufacturers, families and communities.

And these initiatives are aligned with the programming offered by FedDev Ontario as well. Our regional economy contributes a significant amount to the national economy.

Our incredible assets, such as our highly-educated population and world-class research and educational institutions, position us to take advantage of opportunities to grow industry and innovation.

Let's also not forget our strategic access to the U.S. market and established clusters of strength in areas such as manufacturing and Information and Communications Technology, or ICT.

I don't need to tell you that the Kitchener-Waterloo Region in particular is recognized as the technological hub of southern Ontario.

According to an Ontario Chamber of Commerce economic outlook, Waterloo is creating jobs faster than any other region in the province. The unemployment rate is significantly below the Ontario average.

This is a testament to the vision of the leaders here in the region that are aligned so closely with the vision of our Prime Minister, who have worked together to make it a hub of technology and innovation. It is my hope that the programming offered by the Government of Canada and the measures outlined in our new Budget will continue to help the regional economy.

I will be meeting with regional ICT stakeholders and angel investors later on today and am looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

And I'd be happy to take a few questions from the audience.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I am excited that our Government will continue to work with partners like you to position our businesses for success.

Thank you. Merci.

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