The Conservatives believe that Canada and its economy will be better off if we continue to have a federal government that is accountable to its citizens, to its taxpayers and to its democratic principles. Their approach to economic policy focuses on regaining the confidence of working families by protecting the middle class and getting the nation’s fiscal house in order. As this June’s budget showed, the priorities of the Conservative party are clear.
The Conservatives believe that a strong economy is built on a solid foundation, and that stable, stable relationships with our trading partners are the foundation of a prosperous Canada. As a party that is focused on small and medium-sized businesses, we need to focus on policies that will get our economy back on the right track and help Canadian businesses create more and better paying jobs.
That is why Conservatives will focus on the four core ingredients that enable a thriving economy, starting with the right tax system. That means doing away with special and far-reaching tax loopholes in our tax code. If we are to achieve balanced budgets, we will continue to do away with loopholes in our tax code that cause special tax preferences for high-income earners and maintain those provisions that help lower and middle-income families with the costs of raising children.
We will ensure Canadian families don’t pay double what other countries pay by ending the transfer of economic opportunities from small businesses to families.
We will also increase the tax-free savings account contribution limit to make the ability to save for our retirement years easier for the retirement plans of Canadians in every corner of the country.
In addition, we will introduce measures to help Canadian workers better connect with their pensions and make it easier for them to increase their retirement savings.
We’ll protect Canada’s strong global trading relationships by strengthening Canada’s NAFTA trading terms.
Finally, we must ensure that all Canadians — especially those working in poverty — are provided with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. As a party, we recognize that there are those who need help and support, and we will continue to do so.
From our party’s platform, we are showing that we are committed to a fiscal plan that makes our economy stronger and that promotes fairness and economic growth.
As we look ahead to May 2019, our economic and fiscal challenges are more pressing than ever. Over the last five years, the Harper government ran up a budget deficit to fight the effects of the recession that hit Canada. Now, the Trudeau government is asking the Conservative party for more.
We did what Harper couldn’t. We ended the Harper government’s constitutional fight with the provinces and reinstated a balanced budget. A balanced budget will help ensure that Canadians get the responsible fiscal management that is consistent with our beliefs and a fundamental Conservative value — fiscal discipline.
We also ended the Harper government’s Conservative complacency on the federal deficit. It wasn’t just a deficit. It was a non-negotiable debt overhang. Our plan to balance the budget meant that Canada would be able to meet its commitments to meet the fiscal challenge of a slowdown in economic growth. A Canada debt-to-GDP ratio of 34.8 per cent — significantly lower than that of other economies in the G7 — reflects the fact that it has the capacity to handle problems and to get on with rebuilding a strong and stable economy.
Canada has made great progress on this important issue. There are no more tax loopholes and Ottawa is meeting its fiscal commitment. That is the way our commitment to fiscal discipline should be, and that is how it will remain until the day when this government is no longer in office.
A balanced budget is not the same as balanced and predictable budgets. It means running a surplus in good times and running an annual deficit in bad times. It means paying for the big government programs to protect a strong economy, such as our infrastructure funding.
This is why we must close loopholes and make sure the Canada Revenue Agency has the resources it needs to have rules that are fair, enforceable and enforced.
Lethal reliance on these loopholes will cost the Canadian taxpayer and will drain essential resources from other programs that give meaning to our civic mission. This is also why we need to work to restore a strong and stable tax system in Canada, one that leads us to a balanced budget.
As Conservatives, we have an obligation to ourselves and to our country to do what is right for Canada. We cannot turn our backs on a strong economy that we helped to build. This is a Conservative government that is driven by a strategy to protect, strengthen and preserve the economy.