Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement highlighting some of the Government’s major accomplishments in 2014:
“I am proud of what our Government has achieved for hard working Canadians and their families in 2014.
“Our Government announced measures that will put considerable money back in the pockets of Canadians through the doubling of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable, the Family Tax Cut, the increased and expanded Universal Child Care Benefit, and the greater Child Care Expense Deduction limits. In fact the average benefit to Canadian families of measures announced in 2014 will be over $1,100 per year.
“Through major infrastructure initiatives under the New Building Canada Fund and other infrastructure initiatives/investments, the Government is committing billions of dollars to support projects in communities across the nation – including roads, bridges, transportation networks, airports, and rail service – generating tens of thousands of new jobs.
“The conclusion of free trade negotiations with both the European Union and Korea, together with substantial efforts to boost job training, Canada’s digital connectivity and research, innovation and the commercialization of ideas will also help generate job growth in Canada for years to come.
“We continued to live within our means, staying on course towards eliminating the deficit and promoting efficiencies so that we are on track, as promised, to balance the budget in 2015.
“Our Government also took significant measures this year to promote the safety and security of families both at home and abroad.
“In Canada, we introduced ground-breaking legislation which will ensure that innocent victims of crime have clear rights in our judicial system and tougher penalties for child predators. In the aftermath of the deadly attacks on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo and on Canada’s Parliament, we have also begun work to ensure our laws and policing powers are strengthened.
“On the international front, we took a strong stance against Russian military aggression and expansionism in Ukraine. Canada is also contributing to the fight against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which threatens not just the Middle East, but Canada.
“We continued to lead global efforts in promoting the health of women and children in developing countries, including by hosting the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit in Toronto, in May, where Canada further committed to improving the health of mothers and children from 2015 to 2020.
“Our Government also continued to strongly support Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against those who would do it harm. I had the chance to deliver this message in person during a historical appearance before Israel’s Knesset in January, which was a deep honour.
“In the new year, our Government will continue to build on the remarkable achievements of 2014 with a view to delivering the prosperity, safety and well-being that Canadians deserve.”