With Parliament adjourned until Sept. 17, it is a good time to look back on what we’ve accomplished over the last year.
By far, the number 1 story over the last year has been the economy. Since July 2009, Canada has created nearly 760,000 net new jobs, and more than 90 per cent of these jobs are full-time. We are also taking the steps to help businesses hire new workers, like extending the Small Business Hiring Credit — a direct, practical way to help the businesses at the heart of our economy continue to grow and hire more people.
Our government is also working to help Canadians take advantage of the jobs the Canadian economy is creating, linking workers with employers and supporting skills training. For example, the third quarter program, which is now being rolled out across the country, helps workers over 50, while the Youth Employment Strategy is supporting younger workers.
We are taking steps to streamline environmental assessments so that projects aren’t held up in red tape. We have already shortened project review timelines from four years to 22 months, on average. We’re taking action to move toward a goal of ‘one project, one review.’ This means that we won’t wastefully duplicate the work of provincial agencies, while at the federal level we are consolidating the number of agencies involved from 40 to three.
Of course, we are looking out for law abiding citizens by abolishing the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry that wasn’t keeping Canadians safe, only criminalizing honest hunters and farmers. We also promised to pass the Safe Streets and Communities Act within 100 sitting days of this session of Parliament. We delivered on our promise. No more house arrest for serious and violent criminals; tougher sentences for sexual offences against children; and tougher sentences for organized drug crime. Not only that, but our government is also clarifying the law on citizen’s arrest. Canadians are outraged when the system appears to side with the criminal against the victim. We passed a bill to help make it clear what’s permissible in self-defence and during a citizen’s arrest.
We’ve also delivered support to ensure Canada’s retirement system remains sustainable for the seniors of today and tomorrow, while continuing to support our veterans and delivering tax relief for families, including the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, the Children’s Arts Tax Credit and the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit. Our government will continue to listen to constituents concerns and pass legislation that will strengthen our country.
Please contact my constituency office if you have any questions or concerns on any federally related matters, postage free, at: Bay #6A, 4612 – 50th Street, Ponoka, AB T4J 1S7; tel: 403-783-5530; toll free: 1-800-665-0865 or visit my web site: www.blainecalkinsmp.ca or on twitter at www.twitter.com/blainecalkinsmp