Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty was at Parkwood recently to help plant a sugar maple tree, donated by the Maple Leaves Forever Foundation as part of Canada's first National Tree Day. Minister Flaherty also spoke about Oshawa's harbour and the economy during his brief event at Parkwood.
September 21, 2011
By Geoff Zochodne/The Oshawa Express
Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty dropped by Colonel Sam McLaughlin’s Parkwood Estate recently to give an ad hoc state of the union for Canada’s, and Oshawa’s, economy.
That also included giving some insight into where the federal government stands on the proposed ethanol plant at Oshawa’s harbour.
Minister Flaherty says he and the government are committed to making sure the lakefront has a good balance between the economic and environmental. He praised the way cities like Whitby and Toronto have managed that same balance.
“We’ll do that matching again between the need for economic activity and parks and landscaping,” says Minister Flaherty, adding the government will “leave the specifics,” including the ethanol plant, between the federally-mandated Oshawa Harbour Commission and City Council.
“I think this kind of mixed-use…benefits Durham Region,” he explains.
In his speech, given in one of Parkwood’s fine dining rooms, Minister Flaherty told those in attendance that he and his government have noticed the changes happening to the country’s economy as well.
“We do support small businesses,” he says. “General Motors is a wonderful company…but the reality is that GM employs fewer people than it did before. Job creation in this country comes from small businesses.”
Minister Flaherty cites the reduction of the federal small business tax from 12 to 11 per cent and the coming reduction in corporate tax rates to 15 per cent in January as key drivers of job growth.
On the world stage, Minister Flaherty says Canada is doing “relatively well” economically. He notes the country’s quick recovery from the recession, including the return of all jobs lost during that period and the projected growth of the Canadian economy as proof of that.
“We are looking at moderate growth,” he explains, adding Canada maintains the highest credit rating in the world even now.
“We encourage governments to stay the course as we stay the course in Canada.”