Incumbent Cathy McLeod seeks second term as Conservative MP

Canfor’s Vavenby sawmill looks like it’s getting ready to open and “that’s huge” for the residents of the upper North Thompson Valley, according to M.P. Cathy McLeod.

The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo incumbent said the sawmill’s planned reopening is just one example of how phase one of the Conservative government’s economic action plan is working.

“Our economic action plan is clearly working, with the investments shielding Canadians from the worst of the global recession,” stated McLeod.  “By supporting productive investments in infrastructure, a more highly skilled labor force and a competitive business environment, our action plan has made lasting contributions to our economic growth and prosperity.”

McLeod pointed out that the federal government brought in a number of programs that helped those affected by the mill closure and downturn. These included extending Employment Insurance eligibility, encouraging work sharing, and supporting community adjustment program (CAP) funding for forest fuel management projects in the area.

Keeping corporate taxes low would be important for operations such as the Canfor sawmill’s survival, she felt.

The federal government also helped out by supporting local infrastructure upgrades through federal gas tax funding.

The proposed federal budget would have helped the North Thompson Valley by forgiving up to $40,000 in student loans to doctors willing to locate in rural areas, and up to $20,000 for nurses and nurse practitioners.

“Throughout our riding we have seen the action plan at work in our communities from improving regional highways and local water systems to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, support for First Nations, and seniors’ programming,” said McLeod. “In addition, we have provided support for our cattle and forestry industries, supported higher learning at Thompson Rivers University and reduced emissions at our local pulp and paper mill.”

McLeod also supported Prime Minister Steven Harper’s announcement that a re-elected Conservative Government would allow families with children to share up to $50,000 of their household income for federal tax purposes. The family tax cut would provide significant tax relief for almost 1.8 million families, who would save an average of $1,300 a year.

“Since coming to office, our party has consistently lowered taxes on Canadian families because we understand that household budgets are tight,” said McLeod. “Our low-tax plan for families has allowed Canadian families to keep more of their hard-earned money and have the financial security to raise their children and plan for retirement.”

McLeod,  also gives her full support to last weeks announcement that Canadians will be able to double the amount that they can contribute to their Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) each year.

“During my pre-budget consultations this past January, a number of individuals spoke about the merits of the Tax Free Savings Account,” said McLeod. “The fact that the investment income earned in your TSFA, including capital gains, is not taxed even when withdrawn, is a substantial benefit.”

The Conservative Government created the Tax-Free Savings Account in 2008 to help Canadians save and invest up to $5000 per year. Over 4.7 million Canadians are now taking advantage of the TFSA to save for the future and enhance their financial security and stability.

“Thanks to our low-tax plan, the average Canadian family is already paying $3000 less in taxes each and every year,” stated McLeod. “Now that the annual contribution level will be doubled, Canadians will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money.”

“I realize that not every Canadian has been able to save up to $5000 each and every year. However those who do not save up to the limit each year are able to carry forward their unused contribution room to future years,” said McLeod.

“Personally I think that the TFSA is especially beneficial to Canadian seniors. It helps them meet their ongoing savings needs, even after they reach age 71 and must convert their RRSPs into a RRIF. In addition, withdrawals from the TFSA do not affect a senior’s eligibility for federal income tested benefits and credits such as Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the GST Tax Credit,” concluded McLeod.