I’d like to thank Puslinch Today for their public service in providing space for the federal election candidates to communicate directly to the residents of Puslinch Township.
This is an important election for two reasons.
It’s about which party has the experience and the plan to take Canada forward.
While the Conservative government and Prime Minister Harper have not been perfect, on balance, I believe they’ve done a good job, especially when it comes to managing the Canadian economy.
The federal budget has been balanced one year ahead of schedule, last year. This year, we’re on track to another surplus (a $5 billion surplus was reported for the first quarter). The federal debt-to-GDP ratio is at its lowest level in generations.
We’ve balanced the budget while investing in the services that Canadians rely upon – public healthcare and social programs. Federal transfers to the provinces for healthcare have risen from $20.3 billion in 2006 to $34 billion today, a compounded annual increase of 5.3%. We’ve increased the Universal Childcare Benefit by $720 per year for each child under 18.
We’ve also balanced the budget while cutting taxes. We’ve cut small business taxes. We’ve cut the GST two per cent. We’ve introduced income splitting for seniors and families with children. Since coming to office in 2006, the Conservative government has cut taxes 160 times. In fact, federal taxes are at their lowest level in 50 years. A typical family of four in Puslinch Township is paying nearly $4,300 less in federal taxes each year compared with 10 years ago.
Our plan is working. Since the global recession of 2009, the Canadian economy has created 1.3 million net new jobs – one of the best job creation records in the G7. The majority of these new jobs are full-time positions in high-wage, private sector industries. That’s why, according to Statistics Canada, our regional unemployment is at a low of 4.4%.
We also have an ambitious plan to create another 1.3 million net new jobs by 2020. This level of job growth would see new jobs created at a slightly faster pace than Canada has experienced in the past five years. I believe that, with the Conservative plan to keep taxes low and budgets balanced, it is an achievable target for the next four years.
This election is important for another reason. It’s about which candidate will best represent you in Ottawa.
An MP needs to stand up for their constituents and make tough, principled decisions. My record demonstrates that I’m prepared to do exactly that. Whether it’s introducing the Reform Act to curtail the power of party leaders, including the Prime Minister, or it’s speaking up on the issue of climate change (GreenPAC.ca has endorsed me as an environmental candidate), I’ve always believed that the first job of an MP is to stand up and represent their constituents.
An MP also needs to deliver results for local communities. An MP needs to understand what local concerns people have and work with municipal and provincial officials to get things done. That’s why I’ve been working with the Morriston Bypass Coalition, a coalition made up of municipalities, companies, and associations, to support the proposed Morriston Bypass. That’s why I’ve worked with Friends of Mill Creek to secure federal funding for the restoration of Mill Creek. That’s why I’ve worked to secure federal funding for the new Multi Use Recreational Facility in Aberfoyle.
If re-elected I’ll continue to work with Mayor Dennis Lever, Puslinch Township Council and MPP Ted Arnott on initiatives that improve the quality of life for Puslinch residents.