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Canada Focussed On 'Jobs And Growth'

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

02 December 2011

The Canadian government will not stray from its current economic plan, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said, pledging that the next federal Budget will remain focused on jobs and growth.

The progress of Flaherty's last Budget was anything but smooth. First delivered in March this year, it offered opposition forces within the federal parliament the opportunity to decisively challenge the government, in a move that ended in a dissolution and general election. Once successfully re-elected, the government reintroduced the Budget in June, and has been implementing its measures through legislation introduced over the past months. Titled 'the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan—A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth', it included a variety of tax incentives.

With national consultations for Budget 2012 scheduled to begin in early December, and continue into the new year, Flaherty has made clear his intention to retain a focus on growing the economy, protecting Canadian jobs, reducing the deficit, and returning to balance in the medium-term.

Speaking to the Canadian Club of Toronto, he said: “In uncertain times, the most important contribution the government can make to bolster confidence and growth in Canada is to maintain a sound fiscal position. We need to anticipate that there will be further economic challenges down the road, and plan accordingly. But global economic angst will not sidetrack us from our ultimate goal of balanced budgets."

Noting the launch of the consultation process, Flaherty added: “In the coming weeks we will once again consult widely with Canadians on shaping Canada’s economic future. We want to hear their ideas on how we can generate jobs and growth while keeping taxes low and returning to balanced budgets in the medium-term.”

Flaherty will also meet with provincial Finance Ministers this month to discuss "fiscal discipline and fiscal responsibility".

Concluding, Flaherty said: “Canada has been a leader throughout the response to the global economic downturn, and we will remain a leader. If we strive for an enduring economic prosperity, not fleeting short-term political gratification, the reward will be a legacy we will be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

TAGS: tax | economics | business | tax incentives | fiscal policy | budget | legislation | Canada

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