OTTAWA – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo delivered her response Mar. 24, to Budget 2011 in the House of Commons.
“When I hosted Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in Kamloops this past January for a pre-budget roundtable, the participants represented all sectors and demographics of our riding. We heard presentations on a variety of issues, from work sharing agreements to tax credits for volunteers firefighters,” said McLeod. “After compiling all budget submissions from throughout the riding, I was pleased to present Prime Minister Harper and Minister Flaherty with a comprehensive overview.”
“I’m pleased to report that after reviewing Budget 2011, ten items included in my submission appeared in the budget. These include:
• Extending the work-sharing agreements by up to 16 weeks with increased flexibility in order to reflect the realities of small business.
• Enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for those seniors who rely almost exclusively on the Old Age Security and the GIS.
• Extending the temporary 15 per cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for an additional year (until March 31, 2012) to continue to help companies raise capital for mineral exploration.
• Introducing a Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit for volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service in their communities.
• Supporting the transformation of the forestry sector by proposing to provide $60 million in 2011-12 to help forestry companies innovate and tap into new opportunities abroad.
• Investing $400 million in 2011-12 for the ecoEnergy Retrofit- Homes program to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.
• Attracting more health care workers to under-served rural and remote communities by forgiving a portion of the federal component of Canada Students loans for new family physicians, nurse practioners and nurses who practice in these communities.
• Providing assistance to Canada’s manufacturing and processing sector by extending the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance rate for investment in machinery and equipment for two additional years.
• Introducing a new 15 per cent Children’s Arts Tax Credit, provided on up to $500 of eligible expenses for programs associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and development activities.
• Legislating a permanent annual investment of $2 billion in the Gas Tax Fund to provide predictable, long-term infrastructure funding for municipalities.
“The budget was a balance between providing for those in need and returning to a budget surplus by 2015-2016, and truly reflective of the priorities of Kamloops Thompson Cariboo,” concluded McLeod.