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LETTER: Atamanenko wrong about budget--Yelich

RE:

Budget fails to make life more affordable for Canadian families: Atamanenko

To the Editor,

Your story “Budget fails to make life more affordable for Canadian families: Atamanenko” is misleading. As Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), I would like to correct MP Atamanenko’s statements and set the record straight.

Our Government is committed to strengthening the Canadian economy and promoting economic development. Measures included in Budget 2011 – A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth, reinforce the substantial support Canada provides to small businesses.

For example, our Government is introducing new economic development initiatives such as the $1,000 hiring credit for small businesses and is limiting the potential increase in EI premium rates.

Contrary to your published story, our Plan will preserve WD’s ability to serve Western Canada with effective and efficient programs. Under the Government of Canada’s Strategic Review, my department assessed 100 per cent of its programs and found savings that represent five per cent or about $9 million of the department’s annual review base.

We are simply doing what every responsible government should do – ensuring that Canadian taxpayers continue to get the best value for every tax dollar we spend.

Over the last few years, Western Economic Diversification Canada has supported a variety of projects in the region, including helping complete the Christina Lake Arts Centre and a fibre optic network in Grand Forks. In fact, I personally visited Grand Forks in 2009 and listened to local stakeholders talk about regional economic development.

Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan we’ve responded to the needs of communities and worked with companies like CSQ Environmental Technologies, Red Mountain Resort and Pacific Insight Electronics Corp on job creation. The next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan continues to take important steps to improve the ability of businesses and entrepreneurs like these to respond to emerging growth opportunities and create jobs.

Our Government is committed to working with rural communities toward building a Stronger West for a Stronger Canada.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich,  P.C., M.P.

Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification