Economic Action Plan 2014 Delivers for Brandon-Souris

OTTAWA - Larry Maguire, MP for Brandon-Souris, welcomes and applauds the initiatives included in Budget 2014 announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that will have a direct positive impact on Southwestern Manitoba.

Economic Action Plan 2014, or EAP 2014, delivers on many of the priorities Larry Maguire highlighted during the recent by-election in Brandon-Souris, which included:[unordered_list style="tick"]


  • investing in new infrastructure;

  • promoting skills and job training in high-demand industries;

  • bringing the concern of seniors and veterans to Ottawa; and

  • standing up for the many unique challenges facing rural Canadians.


[/unordered_list]"This budget not only speaks to the priorities of Southwestern Manitoba but also confirms our Government's commitment to balance the budget by 2015. We are able to return to balance without cutting transfers to the provinces or healthcare like the Liberals did in the 1990's," said Maguire.

INFRASTUCTURE


EAP 2014 reconfirms the Building Canada Plan which is the largest investment in infrastructure in Canadian history. It also included a new National Disaster Mitigation Program, which will provide $200 million to support investments in structural mitigation measures, such as infrastructure to control floods. EAP 2014 also announced that the Government will consult with the insurance industry, provinces and homeowners to explore options for a national approach to residential flood insurance. Canada is the only G-8 country without residential flood insurance coverage which leaves homeowners with inadequate protections from overland flood events.

"These are very important initiatives for our region as both the Souris and Assiniboine Rivers flood on a regular occurrence," according to Maguire.

SKILLS AND JOB TRAINING


EAP 2014 announced the Canada Apprentice Loan which will assist apprentices registered in Red Seal trades complete training by providing access to over $100 million in interest free loans each year. Trade apprentices will be able to apply for interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. It is expected that up to 26,000 apprentices per year will apply.

The apprenticeship system will be enhanced by introducing the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project to develop new approaches to expand training for apprentices.

EAP 2014 also support Canadians with disabilities looking to work by making key investments in the Ready, Willing and Able initiative and by creating vocational training programs for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

SENIORS AND VETERANS


EAP 2014 renews the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program to assist unemployed older workers and the eligibility for the program will be expanded to communities experiencing unfulfilled employer demands, so that communities with tighter labour markets can participate.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program will see its funding increased. The Program funds organizations that raise awareness of elder abuse and help ensure seniors can benefit from, and contribute to, the quality of life in their communities.

EAP 2014 introduces new measures to support Canada's veterans by expanding the Funeral and Burial Program, to ensure that modern day veterans of modest means can have a dignified funeral and burial.

There are also new funds to increase access to veteran's services by enabling veterans and their families to engage the Department of Veterans Affairs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

STANDING UP FOR RURAL CANADIANS


EAP 2014 provides funding that will improve access to broadband in rural areas. These funds will be used to extend and enhance access to high-speed broadband networks to a target speed of 5 megabits per second for up to an additional 280,000 Canadian households. This will improve internet access and will create jobs and opportunities for rural Canadians.

Students will now be able to eliminate the value of their vehicles from Canada Student Loan assessments to better reflect the needs of students, especially from rural communities who commute or work while studying.

EAP 2014 also supports livestock farmers by introducing a new pilot price insurance program to provide cattle and hog producers with insurance against unexpected price declines within a production cycle. Additionally, there are a number of measures to support farmers such as expanding tax deferral for livestock to include bees and all horses over 12 months that are being kept for breeding when sold due to drought or excess moisture.

Do you think Budget 2014 keeps Canada on the right track?

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