MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“A Finance Minister We Can All Be Proud Of”
This week, my colleague, Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, once again reminded me of critical areas where our Conservative Government has advanced the fundamental principles that compelled me to enter politics.
He confirmed that stimulus funding under our Economic Action Plan must wind up as planned in 2011. Funds essential to Canada’s recovery throughout the global economic crisis, successful in creating 430,000 new jobs. Yet funds that are TIME-LIMITED.
The same economic principles that ensured Canada had the best fiscal position in the G7 going into the global recession with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio, will also secure Canada’s prosperity into the future. And while our government is a team, Jim Flaherty’s tenacity and leadership deserve much of the credit.
He deserved being named “Finance Minister of the Year” by Euromoney magazine last year. He has deserved all of the international accolades:
The World Economic Forum: “At a time when many countries are struggling with weak financial institutions and macroeconomic stability, these are areas where Canada remains a world leader, retaining its number 1 rating for the perceived strength of its banks for the third year in a row.”
Standard & Poors, the world’s premier credit-rating agency: “Of the other G7 countries … Canada is posting the best fiscal results. Canada also best weathered the financial crisis … [and] is now well positioned to continue to outperform.”
The Wall Street Journal praised Canada for “leading the pushback against the tax-and-spend agenda of some of the more powerful members of the G-20 … Tax cuts, limits on stimulus spending, a strong currency and freer trade. Who says Canada is boring?”
The Los Angeles Times: “Americans have almost never looked to Canada as a role model … but … on such critical issues as the deficit, unemployment … and prospering in the global economy, Canada seems to be out performing the United States. And in doing so, it is offering examples of successful strategies that Americans might consider.”
KPMG, the global accounting firm, ranked Canada the most competitive industrialized country for job creators.
The International Monetary Fund and the OECD both predict Canada will enjoy the greatest growth of all G7 nations in 2010.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says business confidence among Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses is at its highest level in five years.
Canadian Banks were ranked the soundest in the World for the third year in a row by the World Economic Forum.
These successes did not happen by accident. Minister Flaherty has led the drive to reduce the overall tax burden on Canadians to its lowest level in nearly 50 years.
He firmly opposed a new global bank tax that would penalize Canada’s financial institutions, which remained strong while many of the world’s banks failed.
He instituted new credit and debit card rules to better protect Canadian consumers and is moving to protect Canadians savings and retirement plans with a new Canadian Securities regulator.
And I will never forget that this is the only finance minister who sat down with me, listened to the plight of the residents of Mackenzie, BC, then acted to restore the Northern Living Allowance to that community.