QUÉBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 22, 2013) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), today discussed the importance of Canada's manufacturing sector to the Canadian economy and stressed the benefits of government and industry working together to build long-term prosperity. Minister Paradis delivered his remarks to business leaders from the food processing sector at the annual convention of the Conseil de la transformation agroalimentaire et des produits de consommation (council of food processing and consumer products).
"Our government remains focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Paradis. "Manufacturing is a key contributor to a strong Canadian economy, and that is why we have taken action to create the right conditions for our manufacturers to successfully innovate and compete in the global economy."
The Harper Government has established an economic environment that enables manufacturers to adopt the latest technologies, invest in new machinery, and develop new materials and processes to customize products by combining technologies. Government measures to create this environment include the following:
- lowering taxes by cutting the corporate tax rate from over 22 percent in 2007 to 15 percent today and removing the federal capital tax;
- eliminating tariffs on machinery and equipment, making Canada the first tariff-free zone in the G20;
- extending the accelerated capital cost allowance for two years, increasing support for manufacturers by almost $1.4 billion;
- extending and expanding the Hiring Credit for Small Business for one year, saving 560,000 small businesses $225 million in 2013;
- increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $800,000 from $750,000 and indexing it going forward; and
- reducing red tape so that business owners spend less time filling out forms and more time running their businesses.
Furthermore, Minister Paradis discussed the Harper Government's new programs under the Growing Forward 2 framework, a $3-billion investment over five years in strategic innovation, competitiveness and market development programs and business risk management initiatives for agricultural producers and processors. Growing Forward 2 takes effect April 1, 2013.
"These programs are designed to help the food processing industry become more productive and innovative, develop new markets, and adapt to rapidly changing and emerging global and domestic opportunities and issues," the Minister said.
In Quebec, the manufacturing sector accounts for 14 percent of the province's GDP. Food and beverage processing accounts for over 82,000 jobs and $22 billion in sales, while generating $4.6 billion in exports. Canada's manufacturing sector contributes 13 percent to the GDP and employs close to 1.8 million Canadians, more than 95 percent of whom are in full-time jobs.