Cement Industry Applauds Impact of Federal Economic Action Plan, Underscores Importance of Planned Corporate Tax Reductions

The industry sees the tax measure as key to boosting
the competitiveness and growth of Canada's manufacturing sector,
both critical to the continued economic recovery

OTTAWA, Feb. 2 /CNW/ -The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) today applauded the findings of the Seventh Report to Canadians on the Implementation of the Economic Action Plan. Released on January 31, 2011 by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the report indicates that several billion dollars have successfully been invested in critical infrastructure projects across Canada. The CAC took the opportunity to highlight the critical importance of the planned corporate tax reductions in boosting the competitiveness and growth of the private sector, both of which it says are critical to the continued economic recovery and job creation, and applauds the federal government's reduction of the rate from 18% to 16.5% on January 1 of this year.

"It is clear to our members that the Economic Action Plan has played a significant role in assisting Canadian manufacturers weather the recession and has allowed the addition of critical infrastructure in Canada," said CAC President and CEO Michael McSweeney. "It is equally clear to us that, as the government-led stimulus starts tapering off, measures that improve Canadian competitiveness and promote private sector growth to lead us through this fragile period of recovery are more imperative than ever. The planned reduction in the corporate tax rate is such a measure."

As part of an ongoing effort to make Canada more attractive to business investments and encourage growth, Parliament approved in 2007 the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 15% per cent by January 2012. The measure is the subject of an ongoing public debate of great significance to Canadian business.

"Although Canada has managed its economy better than many other countries during this global downturn, we cannot take continued growth for granted," Mr. McSweeney added. "Growth depends largely on investment and the competition for investment from multinational companies is fierce and intense. Achieving and sustaining a comparatively low tax rate is essential to maintain any advantages we have gained on this front. "

As the economy emerges from the recession, the cement industry, like many others, faces increased pressure from the high Canadian dollar, rising energy prices, and the fragility of the US housing market. It sees the approved tax reduction as a necessary element in its line of defense. "This measure will make it easier for business to invest in job-creating equipment and machinery, which will boost productivity and encourage reinvestment. This is critical to the manufacturing sector and Canada's efforts to drive sustained economic growth," Mr. McSweeney concluded.

About the Cement Association of Canada

The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement manufacturing industry, a vital contributor to the country's economy and infrastructure. The CAC and its members are committed to being part of the climate-change solution through the environmentally-responsible manufacturing of cement and concrete products. CAC's members are CalPortland, Ciment Québec, ESSROC Italcementi Group, Federal White Cement Ltd., Holcim Canada, Lafarge Canada, Lehigh Hanson Canada and St Marys Cement Group. The cement and concrete industry contributes more than $8 billion in annual sales and over 27,000 direct and indirect jobs to the Canadian economy.

SOURCE Cement Association of Canada

For further information:

Lyse Teasdale
Director of Communications
Cement Association of Canada
lteasdale@cement.ca
(613) 236 9471 x 211


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