@RyFromCanada @le_petitcastor Ah. That makes sense. Thx.
@le_petitcastor It's part of the collective agreement. If I've been mid-advised let me know. Thx.
@le_petitcastor I'm not sure if it's on a website per se.
March 29, 2012
OTTAWA – Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement is welcoming Economic Action Plan 2012’s focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Keeping taxes low and returning Canada to balanced budgets over the medium term is good news.
“In Economic Action Plan 2012, our Conservative government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians – jobs and economic growth,” said MP Clement. “While Canada has created over 610,000 net new jobs since July 2009, the global economy remains fragile and too many Canadians are still looking for work. That’s why we’re moving forward with a positive plan to bolster the long-term economic growth of Ontario and all of Canada.”
Economic Action Plan 2012 takes significant steps to:
Economic Action Plan 2012 also demonstrates the Conservative government’s strong support for Ontario through record federal transfer support for hospitals, schools, and other critical services. Totaling $19.2 billion in 2012-13, the transfer support represents an increase of nearly $8.4 billion (or 77%) from the former Liberal government.
“While the Liberals gutted transfers for health care and education when in power, our Conservative government is protecting and growing them to help support the services that families need,” said MP Clement.
INITIATIVES THAT WILL BENEFIT ONTARIO
Support for Research, Education and Training
Supporting Advanced Research
|Promoting Sustainable Health Care Practices
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $6.5 million over three years for a research project at McMaster University to evaluate ways to achieve better health outcomes for patients while also making the health care system more cost-effective, through greater implementation of medical teams. Federal funding for this initiative will be augmented by contributions from other partners.
Diversifying Canada’s Medical Isotope Supply
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $17 million over two years to Natural Resources Canada to further advance the development of alternatives to existing isotope production technologies, to help secure the supply of medical isotopes to Canadians.
Investing in Leading-Edge Research Infrastructure
|Supporting Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown corporation which specializes in a range of nuclear products and services. The government has taken an important step in positioning Canada’s nuclear industry for future success with the sale of AECL’s CANDU Reactor Division last October. The second phase of the restructuring of AECL – the restructuring of its nuclear laboratories – is now underway. Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $107 million over two years for AECL’s laboratory operations to ensure a secure supply of medical isotopes and maintain safe and reliable operations at the Chalk River Laboratories.
Responsible Resource Development
Modernizing the Regulatory System for Project Reviews
Since 2006, the Government has been working to streamline the review process for major economic projects so that projects proceed in a timely fashion while protecting the environment. The Government will propose legislation to modernize the regulatory system and realize the objective of “one project, one review” within a clearly defined time period.
Major Projects Management Office Initiative
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $54 million over two years to continue to support effective project approvals through the Major Projects Management Office initiative, which has helped to transform the approvals process for major natural resource projects by shortening and the average review times from four years to just 22 months, improving accountability by monitoring the performance of federal regulatory departments.
Consultation under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $13.6 million over two years to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to support consultations with Aboriginal peoples related to projects assessed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, to ensure that their rights and interests are respected, and that they benefit from economic development opportunities.
Amending Mining Regulations
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $1 million over two years to Environment Canada to expand the metal mining regulations to non-metal diamond and coal mines. This will address an existing regulatory gap and provide greater certainty for the mining industry across Canada.
Canada’s well-trained and highly-educated workforce represents one of our key advantages in competing and succeeding in the global economy. Too often barriers or disincentives discourage workforce participation. Better utilizing Canada’s workforce and making Canada’s labour market more adaptable will help ensure Canada’s long-term economic growth.
That’s why, since 2006, the Government has placed a strong emphasis on access to skills training, support for post-secondary education, building a fast and flexible economic immigration system, and developing untapped potential in the labour market.
Economic Action Plan 2012 builds on this with an enhanced labour market focus and a number of targeted investments that will help respond to current labour market challenges and meet longer-term labour market needs. The Government will introduce measures to streamline processes and increase funding to better integrate certain under-represented groups in the labour force; including immigrants, persons with disabilities, youth, Aboriginal peoples, and older Canadians.
Supporting Job Creation, Small Business and Skills Training
Extending the Hiring Credit for Small Business
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes to extend the temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business for one year. A credit of up to $1,000 against a small employer’s increase in its 2012 EI premiums over those paid in 2011 would be provided. This temporary credit would be available to approximately 536,000 employers, whose total EI premiums were at or below $10,000 in 2011, reducing small business 2012 payroll costs by about $205 million.
Enhancing the Youth Employment Strategy
$50 million over two years to assist more young people in gaining skills and experience. This funding will help connect young Canadians with jobs in areas that are in high demand.
$6 million over three years to extend and expand the ThirdQuarter project, led by the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, to key centres across the country to help employers find experienced workers who are over 50. The project provides an online forum that makes it easier for individuals to find jobs that match their skills, while helping businesses and organizations narrow the field of potential employees to those who have the skills they are seeking.
Improving Labour Market Opportunities for Canadians with Disabilities
$30 million over three years in the Opportunities Fund to enable more Canadians with disabilities to obtain work experience with small and medium-sized businesses, and to ensure employers are aware of the invaluable contribution persons with disabilities can make to their business and the Canadian economy.
The Government will also establish a panel on the labour market opportunities of persons with disabilities to identify private-sector successes and best practices with regard to the labour market participation of persons with disabilities. The panel will report jointly to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development by the end of 2012.
Women on Corporate Boards
Create an Advisory Council of leaders from the private and public sectors to link organizations to a network of skilled and experienced women.
Improving the Employment Insurance Program
Employment Insurance (EI) is Canada’s single largest labour market program, providing income replacement to help individuals and their families, as well as training and other labour market supports to help Canadians return to employment. Economic Action Plan 2012 makes a number of targeted changes to make EI a more efficient program that promotes job creation, removes disincentives to work, supports unemployed Canadians and quickly connects people to jobs to improve their quality of life and Canada’s economy.
Stable and Predictable EI Premium Rates
In response to public consultations, the Government proposes to ensure predictability and stability in the EI premium rate. Over the next few years, the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (CEIFB) will continue to set the rate, but the Government will limit rate increases to 5 cents each year until the EI Operating Account is balanced. Once the Account has returned to balance, the EI premium rate will be set on a seven‑year break-even rate to ensure that EI premiums are no higher than needed to pay for the EI program. After the seven-year rate is set, annual adjustments to the rate will also be limited to 5 cents.
Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs
Through Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government will invest $21 million over two years to improve efforts to connect EI claimants with the necessary skills with available jobs in their community, including through targeted information and compliance sessions. Along with providing relevant and timely job information, the Government will strengthen and clarify what is required of claimants who are receiving regular EI benefits and looking for work. In the coming months, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development will announce fair and transparent guidelines for compliance, which take into account local labour market conditions and an individual’s past history with the EI program.
Removing Disincentives to Work
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes to invest $74 million over two years in a new, national EI pilot project that will ensure claimants are not discouraged from accepting work while receiving EI benefits. This new pilot project will cut the current earnings clawback rate in half and apply it to all earnings while on claim. This new pilot will ensure that EI claimants always benefit from accepting work by allowing them to keep more of what they earn while on EI.
Economic Action Plan 2012 will also invest $387 million over two years to align the calculation of weekly EI benefit amounts with local labour market conditions. This new approach will reduce disincentives to accepting all available work prior to applying to the EI program by permanently revising the way benefits are calculated. Beginning in April 2013, all claimants will have their EI benefit amount calculated based on the highest weeks of earnings over the preceding year. The number of weeks that will be used will range from 14 to 22, depending on the unemployment rate in the claimant’s particular EI region. This approach to calculating the value of EI benefit will make the program more responsive to changes in the local labour market and ensure that those living in regions with similar labour market conditions receive similar benefits. While this new approach is being put in place, the current Best 14 Weeks pilot project will be extended until April 2013.
|During the transition to the new approach, the Best 14 Weeks pilot project will continue to apply in the following EI regions:
Expanding Opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples to Fully Participate in the Economy
Economic Action Plan 2012 announces measures to ensure Aboriginal peoples participate more fully in Canada’s economy. This includes $275 million over the next three years for First Nations education to provide early literacy programming and other services for First Nations schools and students, as well as to build and renovate schools on reserve, providing students with a better learning environment. In addition, Economic Action Plan 2012 invests $27 million over two years for the Urban Aboriginal Strategy to improve economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples in urban centers.
The Government will work with willing partners to introduce a First Nation Education Act and have it in place by September 2014. Economic Action Plan 2012 also announces that the Government will better align its on-reserve Income Assistance program with provincial systems through improved compliance with program requirements, and work with First Nations to encourage those who can work to access training and improve the incentives for labour market participation.
Building a Fast and Flexible Economic Immigration System
Federal Skilled Worker Fee Refund
Return applications to those in the federal skilled worker backlog and refund up to $130 million in fees paid by certain federal skilled worker applicants, who applied under previous criteria established prior to February 27, 2008.
Strengthening Canada’s Public Infrastructure
Supporting Provincial, Territorial and Municipal Infrastructure
The new long-term plan for public infrastructure, which will extend beyond the expiry of the Building Canada plan will benefit all regions across the country. The Government is working with provinces, territories, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and other stakeholders to explore broad directions and priorities for a new plan. Over the next two years, the Government will spend nearly $12 billion to support provincial, territorial, and municipal infrastructure through existing initiatives.
Supporting Jobs Through a Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $150 million over two years to the Regional Development Agencies for a Community nfrastructure Improvement Fund to support repairs and improvements to existing small public infrastructure facilities, including community centres, on a cost-shared basis in partnership with municipalities, community organizations and not-for-profit entities.
Maintaining Safe and Reliable Passenger Rail Services
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $105 million in 2012-13 on a cash basis to support VIA Rail Canada’s operations and capital projects, including investments in track signaling systems, track components, station repairs, and information technology, which will enhance the safety and efficiency of VIA’s operations. The Government will also continue to support regional and remote passenger rail services.
Strengthening Canada’s Port System
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $27.3 million over two years to Transport Canada for the divestiture of additional regional port facilities and to support the continued operation and maintenance of federally-owned ports. Communities where ports are divested will benefit from decision-making responsibilities being placed in the hands of users and local interests, allowing communities to own and control the use of their facilities and determine service and maintenance levels appropriate to their circumstances. Regional and local communities across the country will benefit from continued access to safe and reliable Transport Canada ports.
Protecting Canada’s Natural Environment and Wildlife
Protecting Species at Risk
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $50 million over two years to support the implementation of the Species at Risk Act to continue to protect Canada’s diverse species and help secure the necessary conditions for their recovery.
|Port Hope Area Initiative
The Government is committed to safely clean up and store historical low-level radioactive waste in
Taking steps towards the creation of Canada’s first national near-urban park in the Rouge Valley in Ontario.
Protecting the Health and Safety of Canadians
Fair Compensation for Employers of Canada’s Reservists
Canada’s reservists make an extraordinary commitment and many personal sacrifices to keep Canadians safe. They are called upon to serve abroad for extended periods, which can place significant financial strain on their employers – particularly small businesses. Building on the Government’s commitment to support the men and women of our armed forces, Economic Action Plan 2012 commits to providing financial support to employers of reservists to offset costs such as the hiring and training of replacement workers or increasing overtime hours for existing employees. Details of this program will be announced by the Government in the coming months.
Enhancing the Victims Fund
The Government will announce enhanced support for the Victims Fund in the coming months.
Investing in Communities
Investing in First Nations Communities
Economic Action Plan 2012 invests $330.8 million over two years to build and renovate water infrastructure on reserve, and to support the development of a long-term strategy to improve water quality in First Nations communities, and $11.9 million in 2012-13 for the Family Violence Prevention Program to support shelter services and violence prevention programming on reserve. In addition, the Government announces its commitment to explore with interested First Nations the option of moving forward with legislation which would permit private property ownership within current reserve boundaries.
Supporting Effective Government-Community Partnerships
The Government will continue to explore social finance instruments as a way to further encourage the development of government/community partnerships. For example, social impact bonds hold promise as a tool to further encourage the development of government-community partnerships.
Support for Museums and Galleries
Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes to further support Canada’s museums by strengthening the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program that helps Canadian museums and art galleries reduce their insurance costs when hosting major exhibitions. To achieve this, the indemnification limit will be raised from $1.5 billion to $3 billion. This increased support will be complemented by a change to the calculation period and an increase in the maximum level of support per exhibition, from $450 million to $600 million. These important modernization initiatives will help art galleries and museums attract more internationally acclaimed treasures to Canada.
Encouraging Participation and Healthy Communities
Recognizing the role that participation in sport plays in promoting more active lifestyles and healthier, stronger communities, Economic Action Plan 2012 continues investments in ParticipACTION, which works with provincial and local partners to deliver community-based physical activity and fitness programs. Details on this initiative will be announced in the coming months.
Wage Earner Protection Program
$1.4 million annually to ensure that Wage Earner Protection Program applicants including those in Ontario receive the benefits that they are entitled to when they need it the most.
Protecting Long-term Disability Plans
Legislation to require federally regulated private-sector employers including those in Ontario to insure, on a go forward basis, any long-term disability plans they offer to their employees.
Economic Action Plan 2012 takes action to ensure the retirement security of all Canadians now and into the future. It places the first pillar, Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), on a sustainable path and confirms that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is sustainable at the current contribution rate of 9.9 per cent of pensionable earnings.
The age of eligibility for OAS and GIS will be gradually increased from 65 to 67, starting in April 2023, with full implementation by January 2029. In line with the increase in age of OAS/GIS eligibility, the ages at which the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor are provided will also gradually increase from 60-64 today to 62-66 starting in April 2023.
The Government will ensure that certain federal programs, including programs provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, currently providing income support benefits until age 65, are aligned with changes to the OAS program. The Government will discuss the impact of the changes to the OAS program on Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability and survivor benefits with provinces and territories, and will compensate provinces and territories for net additional costs they face resulting from the increase in the age of eligibility for OAS benefits. To improve flexibility and choice in the OAS program, starting on July 1, 2013, the Government will allow for the voluntary deferral of the OAS pension, for up to five years, allowing Canadians the option of deferring take-up of their OAS pension to a later time and receiving a higher, actuarially adjusted, annual pension. The adjusted pension would be calculated on an actuarially neutral basis, as is done with the CPP. This means that, on average, individuals will receive the same lifetime OAS pension whether they choose to take it up at the earliest age of eligibility or defer it to a later year. The annual pension will be higher if they choose to defer. GIS benefits, which provide additional support to the lowest-income seniors, will not be eligible for actuarial adjustment.
The 2010–2012 triennial review of the CPP has been concluded and confirms the financial sustainability of the Plan for at least the next 75 years at the current contribution rate of 9.9 per cent of pensionable earnings. Finance Ministers also agreed to a number of technical amendments to the CPP legislation and to the CPP Investment Board regulations. The CPP amendments range from consequential changes to the reforms that were made to modernize the CPP in the previous 2007-2009 triennial review to amendments which will ensure consistency within the different parts of the CPP legislation.
Economic Action Plan 2012 improves the integrity and fairness of the tax system by closing tax loopholes that allow some businesses and individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax. The Plan also improves the neutrality of the tax system by eliminating inefficient tax preferences. These actions broaden and protect the tax base of the federal and Ontario governments, which helps keep Canadian tax rates competitive and low, thereby improving incentives to work, save and invest in Canada.
|Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories
In addition to these measures, Ontario will continue to receive significant support through major federal transfers in 2012-13.
Federal support to provinces and territories will reach an all-time high of $59 billion, which is $3 billion more than last year. Total amounts for each major transfer will see year-over-year growth again in 2012‑13.
For Ontario, major transfers will total almost $19.3 billion in 2012-13. This long-term, growing support helps ensure that Ontario has the resources required to provide essential public services, and contributes to shared national objectives, including health care, post-secondary education and other key components of Canada’s social programs.
Ontario will also benefit from continued direct targeted support in 2012-13, including: