Canada weathering the global economic crisis

From the Hill

By MP Kevin Sorenson

The Conservative Party’s Annual Summer National Caucus will be held in Ottawa July 28-29 and we will be discussing our progress implementing Budget 2009, Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Canadians re-elected our Conservative government with a strengthened mandate less than a year ago because at a time of global economic uncertainty we offered a proven record and a realistic plan to guide our country through the crisis. Since forming government in 2006, we have acted responsibly by lowering taxes and paying down debt when economic times were good.

Our government recently launched a media campaign encouraging Canadians to visit www.actionplan.gc.ca. I hope you have seen these ads on television or in the print media or heard them on the radio. www.actionplan.gc.ca is the ‘one stop shop’ for you to monitor our country’s progress and learn about the recession-fighting measures provided that may help you and your family, or your business, weather the global economic crisis. The website provides up to date information on the progress of all the projects across Canada that are aimed at stimulating our economy, saving jobs, and creating new ones.

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered his speech at the Calgary Stampede Barbeque on July 4, he said that along with provincial governments and municipalities, our federal government is implementing our nation’s economic stimulus program faster than any other nation. Budget 2009 was the quickest and earliest budget tabled by any government in Canadian history and our pre-budget consultation effort was the most comprehensive ever. The Prime Minister stated that with over 80 percent of the stimulus package already committed, now Canadian workers will be doing their part.

We are living through the worst economic crisis in the world since World War II. Our grandparents and great-grandparents surprised the world with our contribution in both World Wars and in many parts of the world since. Today, Canada’s banking and financial systems are the envy of the world. Once again, average, hard-working Canadians and their families are showing the world how we can pull together as a nation with a small population and vast geographical territory, to meet the global challenges presented to our relatively young country.

Canada was ‘dragged’ into the recession. While we wait for other nations to get their economies in order, we are helping our own economy cope by working on our long-term prosperity.

Canada’s debt levels were the lowest in the G7 going into the recession, and will be coming out of the recession as well. We are accomplishing the stimulus effort while maintaining deficit levels that are a fraction of other major developed countries. While other nations will have to raise taxes after the recession has passed, our government will still be reducing taxes. Most economic forecasters, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, confirm that Canada has been the least affected and when economic recovery takes hold, Canada is poised to lead the way out of the global recession in the strongest position.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write to me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail sorenk1@parl.gc.ca.

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