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July message from Michael Chong

Web posted on July 21, 2006

Dear Editor:

The summer is a good time to reflect on the state of our country.

I am proud to represent such a beautiful area of the country with the people that live in Wellington-Halton Hills. I am also equally proud to be part of a new government in Ottawa that is focused on getting things done. We have worked with the oppositions parties to find common ground to implement our policies. We have worked to restore trust and pride in the Government of Canada.

Part of restoring the trust that Canadians have in their government comes from doing what we said we would do during the election. It has now been four months since Canada's new government took office. During this time we have delivered four of our five priorities. We have kept the commitments we made to Canadians.

First, we brought forward new legislation aimed at ending a culture of entitlement and making sure that Canadians receive a full accounting of how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent. The Federal Accountability Act was the first piece of legislation brought forward by our Government and passed the House of Commons this June.

Second, we have cut the GST one per-cent. It's no secret that Canadians are heavily taxed. That's why, in our first federal budget, our Government brought forward almost $20 billion in tax relief measures over the next two years. Reducing the GST to 6 percent, providing a new $1,000 Employment Credit, reducing taxes on private pension income for seniors and introducing a Transit Tax Credit are just some of these relief measures.

Third, to protect the Canadian way of life, we have introduced legislation to lengthen and toughen sentences to keep violent criminals and repeat offenders off our streets, ban house arrest for serious offenders, crack down on street racing, protect our youth against adult sexual predators and provide more police to tackle crime, especially white collar crime and terrorism. Canada has a reputation as a peaceful and law-abiding nation, where people can walk the streets of their community at night with no fear of becoming a statistic. We want to keep it this way.

Fourth, we are also keeping our promise to support families. Our Government recognizes that each family is unique and parents must be able to make decisions that best meet the needs of their children, particularly in the area of child care. That is why we have put in place the Universal Childcare Benefit. Parents will receive, effective July 1, 2006, $100 per month for each child under six to help meet the cost of providing child care. At the same time, our Government is committed to working with community and non-profit organizations to create more child care spaces in Canada. Another measure to help families, and one I am particularly proud of as Minister for Sport, is the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. This tax credit will take effect January 1, 2007 and will allow parents to claim up to $500 per child a year in eligible fees for sports and fitness activities. We will release more details on this credit at some future date.

In addition to the five priorities, we have taken action to provide immediate assistance to farmers. I'm proud to say that we over-delivered on our commitments to farmers. During the election we promised an extra $0.5 billion this year to assist farmers. We delivered extra $1.5 billion.

While we have accomplished much, the job is far from over. In the months to come, our Government will build on these successes and seek to address other priorities that must be dealt with to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

This fall, we will announce our "made in Canada" plan for a cleaner environment. We have already introduced significant, practical measures to reduce emissions, which include providing a transit tax credit to increase the use of public transit, and new public transit infrastructure investments. We are increasing the average renewable fuel content in gasoline and diesel fuel to 5 percent by 2010 and working with industry to reduce sulphur in diesel, and the release of sulphur dioxide, metal pollutants, and mercury into the air. Moving forward, we will create a national Air Quality Health Index and introduce a Clean Air Act.

We will also continue our discussions with the provinces and territories as part of our efforts to restore the fiscal balance in Canada. In the coming months, we will deliver a fair national plan for federal fiscal transfers to the provinces, so that all Canadians regardless of where they live can move forward together. As Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, I will be involved in these discussions. Just as we did in our first 130 days, we will set an ambitious agenda for the fall session of Parliament.

- Michael Chong


Michael Chong is the MP for Wellington-Halton Hills. He is President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister for Sport. To contact Michael, call 1-866-878-5556 or e-mail chongm@parl.gc.ca.


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Other Stories of Interest

Michael Chong Monthly News Letter
( October 17, 2006 )

May message from Michael Chong
( May 02, 2006 )

April message from Michael Chong
( April 03, 2006 )