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Jobs a key focus in new federal budget, MP says

Supporting jobs, families and balancing the budget are all key focuses of the latest federal government tabled Tuesday, said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, MP for Delta-Richmond East.

"Everyone is always interested in the tax bite, and also in jobs and opportunity. So this really is about keeping taxes low, and at the same time protecting the programs and services that we all count on," she told The Richmond Review.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the a new federal budget in the House of Commons Tuesday afternoon, promising no new taxes and forecasting a $2.9-billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, while the government anticipates moving back into the black for 2015-2016 with a $6.4 billion surplus.

"We are on track to return to balanced budgets in 2015, which is a promise we made," said Findlay, who serves as the Conservative government's Minister of National Revenue.

The budget takes aim at improving the job climate in Canada, such as introducing a paid internships program and a new no-interest loan to registered apprentices in red seal trades to aid in training.

Findlay said the government will also be doing more to encourage more competition and lower prices in the telecommunications market. The Conservative government also plans to invest $300 million to bring broadband Internet to rural and northern Canada.

More money—$40 million—is also going to support creation of jobs in coastal communities to ensure harbour authorities meet the needs of commercial fishermen, and providing millions more to Parks Canada for national parks and trail systems.

Other budget ideas include eliminating the practice of pay-to-pay billing—having to pay to receive printed copies of your bank or credit card bills.

Findlay said the government is managing to keep taxes low—while municipalities raise theirs—by looking at efficiencies in workforces, improving technology to deliver programs and reducing red tape.

"We're keeping true to the ambitions we laid out in the first place and doing it over a series of years. When you have that focus, you really do get results. It shows you what that kind of determination can bring about."

 

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