Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in Milton
First, I want to acknowledge that the land we are gathered on is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
I am delighted to be here in Milton today with the incredible people of DSV, and with my friend and colleague, Adam van Koeverden. He is such a great voice for the people of Milton in Ottawa.
And it has been a really exciting day with Adam here in Milton.
One of the amazing things that we saw today at DSV is an incredible drone, an example of a collaborative Canadian innovation project, and it is going to be used to help deliver critical medical materials—just one example of the great work you guys do.
It’s been inspiring to see the work being done here every day and it makes me really excited for the future of Canada, for the future of Canadian technology and innovation—seeing the work of companies like ROCKWOOL making the goods that the world needs and companies like DSV helping to get them there.
In the Fall Economic Statement I tabled last Thursday, one of the key pillars was a focus on growing Canada’s economy—on making investments that will encourage businesses to grow and create good jobs for Canadians right across the country.
We focused on that because we know that the global economy is changing—and we know that changing global economy represents a generational economic opportunity for Canada and for Canadian workers.
The global green transition is the most significant transformation since the Industrial Revolution. And here in Canada, we have a fortunate abundance of the goods and resources that will power that transformation.
And, critically, since Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, our allies and their leading businesses are increasingly looking to Canada to provide them with those goods and resources.
That’s why we have been working to make Canada a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing, and the democracy that is prepared to and is able to provide our allies with the critical minerals and energy they need.
That’s why we’re investing in innovation and in helping Canadian businesses take risks and grow in a net-zero world.
That’s why, last Thursday, we launched a new Canada Growth Fund that will help attract the billions of dollars in private capital required to fight climate change and create good jobs across industries here in Milton and from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
That’s why we are working to ensure that Canadian workers have the skills they need to work good-paying jobs, and why we are bringing to Canada more of the skilled workers that our growing country needs.
That’s why we are working to build more of the homes that a growing Canada requires.
That’s why we have invested so heavily in strengthening our supply chains, and why we rely on excellent logisticians like the ones who work here. And why, in the years to come, we will continue to need innovative Canadian companies like DSV here in Milton to help keep our economy moving.
But, at the end of the day, all of the investments our government makes are really about investing in workers—in people like the ones I’ve met at DSV and at ROCKWOOL earlier today.
A growing economy means more good jobs. It means more people with the stability that comes with a job that pays you well, working with people who respect you and your skills.
So what Canadian workers need—now and in the years to come—is a government with a real, robust industrial strategy; a government committed to investing in the net-zero transition, to bringing in new private investment, and to helping create good-paying jobs from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Because if we make smart choices today—if we seize the economic opportunity before us—we can ensure a new generation of prosperity for workers and families like the ones here in Milton.
Now, even as we continue to make investments in our future, even as we get ready to send drones flying across the sky, it is still a challenging time for Canadians right now.
Interest rates are rising and our economy is slowing down—as are those of our friends and allies around the world.
And while inflation fell in September for the third month in a row, it is still too high. And it has been making life more expensive for people here in Milton. For some of the people who work here at DSV.
Which is why, in addition to the steps we are taking in the Fall Economic Statement to grow our economy and create good jobs, we also introduced new measures to enhance Canada’s social safety net and provide inflation relief to the Canadians who need it most.
We are creating a new, enhanced Canada Workers Benefit that will deliver quarterly payments and ensure our lowest-paid—and often most essential—workers don’t have to wait until the end of each year to receive the support they need.
We are working to deliver dental care for children under 12, because nobody should have to choose between taking their child to the dentist and putting food on the table.
We will be providing hundreds of dollars in new support to low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.
And for the Canadians who need it the most, we are doubling the GST Credit for the next six months. Payments started going out to 11 million Canadian households last Friday, and that means some much-needed breathing room to help people pay for food, or groceries, or rent—including for people right here in Milton.
We are providing targeted inflation relief, because that is the right thing to do. And we can do that because while we are compassionate, we are also responsible.
In fact, Canada has the lowest deficit and the lowest debt-to GDP ratio in the G7. Just last week, Moody’s reaffirmed our Aaa credit rating with a stable outlook.
And in October alone, employment in Canada rose by 108,000 full-time jobs. That means there are 513,000 more Canadians working today than before COVID first hit.
Our economy is now 103 per cent the size it was before the pandemic. And so far this year, our economic growth has been the strongest in the G7.
All of this means that our pandemic spending worked. It means we are entering the coming global slowdown from a position of fundamental economic strength—with more Canadians employed than ever, and with the fiscal firepower we need to respond to whatever the global economy may throw at us.
There is really no country in the world that is better placed than Canada to weather the global slowdown to come.
Canadians are tough and the Canadian economy is resilient. And that’s why we can all be confident we will get through this, just as we have gotten through so much over these past two-and-a-half years.
And we can also be confident that Canada is better positioned than any other country in the world to thrive.
Thank you very much.
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