THUNDER BAY, ON, May 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today delivered keynote remarks at an event hosted by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and Ambassadors Northwest. Minister Rickford highlighted the Government of Canada's prudent fiscal management, low-tax plan for supporting jobs and growth, support for families and communities and measures to ensure the security of all Canadians.
During his address, Minister Rickford emphasized Canada's strong economic fundamentals and the Government's actions to create one of the world's most favourable investment climates by lowering taxes and opening new markets through free trade agreements.
The Minister highlighted the extension in Economic Action Plan 2015 of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit and the expansion of the definition of Canadian Exploration Expenses for tax purposes to include costs of environmental studies and community consultations that are required to obtain a permit for grassroots exploration.
In addition, Economic Action Plan proposes to invest $23 million over five years, starting in 2015–16, for technological innovation in the area of rare earth elements and chromite, a key mineral and a focus of exploration in the Ring of Fire region. Unlocking the potential of commercial production of these elements represents a significant economic opportunity for Northern Ontario and all of Canada.
Finally, Minister Rickford reiterated the Government's ongoing investment in the transformation of Canada's forest sector by extending the Forest Innovation Program and the Expanding Market Opportunities Program by providing $86 million over two years, starting in 2016–17. These programs are helping the forest industry develop new technologies and new markets for Canadian wood products and sustaining jobs in forest-dependent communities.
Economic Action Plan 2015 builds a stronger Canada by:
- Continuing our government's focus on creating more jobs and growing the economy in Northern Ontario and across the country.
- Reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019 — putting an estimated $2.7 billion back into the pockets of job-creating small businesses and their owners between now and 2019–20.
- Providing $80 million over five years, starting in 2015–16, to the National Energy Board for safety and environmental protection and greater engagement with Canadians. This funding will be fully cost-recovered from industry.
- Supporting the mining sector, including an additional $22 million over five years, starting in 2015–16, for the Targeted Geoscience Initiative, which helps stimulate private sector resource investment and exploration.
- Continuing support for the Major Projects Management Office Initiative, with an additional $135 million in the next five years, starting in 2015–16.
- Creating a new infrastructure fund as part of the Canada 150 celebrations, which will provide the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) with additional resources to deliver infrastructure funding in Northern Ontario. Specifically, Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to create a new dedicated infrastructure fund to support the renovation, expansion and improvement of existing community infrastructure in all regions of the country as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.
"Economic Action Plan 2015 fulfils our government's commitment to Canadians to balance the budget this year — a budget focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We are committed to ensuring that families in Northern Ontario and across Canada are able to keep more of their hard-earned dollars to focus on their families' priorities."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
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