"2012 will undoubtedly be another challenging year"

The Prime Minister’s Office today released this letter from Stephen Harper to the Conservative caucus. We’ll chat about it on Monday. -pw


Dear Colleague:

2011 was quite a year. Canadians entrusted us with a strong, stable, national, majority Conservative Government and we have delivered. We have continued to implement our low-tax plan for jobs and growth – a plan that is working. We have provided marketing freedom for grain farmers, expanded trade and moved forward with the Border Action Plan with the United States. However, there is much more to do.

Canadians have consistently told us the economy is their top priority. They are concerned about their jobs, their families and their financial security. We have listened to their concerns and we have acted with Canada’s Economic Action Plan: our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. Since 2009, Canada’s economy has created nearly 600,000 new jobs and our economic performance is the envy of other advanced countries.

Our Government’s top priority in 2012 will continue to be the economy. With the ongoing economic instability in Europe and the continued slow economic growth in the United States, it is clear the global economy is still very fragile. Too many Canadians are still rightly concerned about their jobs, their savings and their family budgets. Our Conservative Government will continue to focus on creating jobs and economic growth.

Over the coming months, we will be busy planning and preparing Economic Action Plan 2012. Economic Action Plan 2012 will continue our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. It will focus on key areas that will lead to stronger growth and job creation such as:

• Expanding trade and opening new markets – for the export of Canadian goods and services to help our businesses expand and grow.

• Investing in research and development – so that new technologies translate into jobs for Canadians and opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs.

• Contributing to skills training – to help get people into the right jobs and to address skills shortages that hold back growth.

• Eliminating red tape – that stifles growth and kills jobs, so we can support economic growth and entrepreneurship.

• Keeping taxes low – to help families balance their budgets and to provide a competitive business environment that supports job-creating investment and expansion.

• Controlling debt and deficits – to ensure Canada avoids the debt crisis plaguing many developed countries by gradually eliminating our deficit from now to 2015.

As we prepare Economic Action Plan 2012, it is vitally important that we continue to listen to Canadians on the best way to create jobs and economic growth. The Economic Action Plan has been built on the ideas put forward by entrepreneurs, workers, small businesses and ordinary hard-working Canadians. Economic Action Plan 2012 must continue this approach.

Therefore, I am requesting that Ministers take time in the coming weeks to travel the country and consult with Canadians on Economic Action Plan 2012. I want to ensure that our Government gets the views of small business owners, workers, entrepreneurs and hard-working Canadian families on the policies that we should adopt to continue to create jobs and economic growth. We must work hard to ensure the concerns and priorities of Canadians are reflected in our plan.

In closing, 2012 will undoubtedly be another challenging year for Canada. We have come through the global economic recession stronger than almost any other industrialized country. However, there are tough, important choices that must be made to create jobs, keep our economy growing and keep Canada as the greatest country in the world. We must make those choices – choices that will lead to greater prosperity – but we must make them together with the Canadian people.


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