Committed to Helping Our Small Businesses Succeed
A recent article in Forbes magazine ranked Canada as the best place in the world to do business and there is little doubt that a large part of that honour is thanks to the hard work of our small business owners.
Whether it is the local hardware store, trucking company, or restaurant, small businesses are the driving force behind both our local and national economy. I have seen firsthand the dedication of our entrepreneurs while travelling throughout the riding, meeting with local Chambers of Commerce and individual business owners.
In order to create the best business environment possible for our entrepreneurs to succeed and grow, our Conservative Government is focused on the economy: keeping taxes low, cutting unnecessary government red tape, promoting Canadian exports in new markets, and supporting our entrepreneurs.
With a small business tax rate reduced down to 11 per cent and a corporate tax rate recently reduced down to 15 per cent this year, Canada now stands as the most tax-competitive country among developed G-7 countries. As we continue to work toward a return to balanced budgets over the medium term, we have committed to doing so without raising taxes or cutting transfers to Canadians or the provinces.
Many of our nation’s small business entrepreneurs, approximately 30,000 Canada-wide, export their products and services to markets around the world. Our Government’s ambitious trade plan is deepening our trade relationships with high-growth markets. Since 2007, our efforts have led to the signing of nine new trade agreements, including one most recently in China. Toward the end of the year, we are looking forward to completing a trade agreement with the European Union, reducing tariffs to a market of 500 million consumers.
Building on these successes, our Government launched the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan this fall to cut unnecessary red tape in order to save entrepreneurs time and money. The plan includes 90 department-specific reforms – common sense solutions to business irritants in areas ranging from tax and payroll, to labour, transport and trade.
This builds on our actions taken in Economic Action Plan 2012 to help employers make new hires with the extension of the temporary Hiring Benefit for Small Businesses, while limiting Employment Insurance rate increases. We also introduced the Pooled Registered Pension Plan providing small business entrepreneurs with a framework to provide pensions to employees at a lower cost.
In addition, the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax, first introduced in Budget 2006, continues to give eligible employers a tax credit equal to 10 per cent of the wages paid to qualifying apprentices in the first two years of their contract. Over $21 million has been claimed by 1,200 eligible employers for tax year 2011.
As a former small business owner in construction, I understand the important part small businesses play in the Canadian economy, and our Government will continue to support Canada’s entrepreneurs.
For more information on the actions our Conservative Government is taking for small business entrepreneurs, please visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/initiative-glossary/business.
Bob Zimmer - MP
Honouring Those Who Are Making A Difference In Our Communities
This summer I have travelled throughout the riding, meeting with constituents, taking part in a number of community events, and accompanying the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform) and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) during their recent visits to our region. And, in what has been a highlight for me over these past few months, I have had the privilege of honouring a number of our local residents with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As you may know, this year marks the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne as the Queen of Canada. To recognize this remarkable event, the federal government has introduced several initiatives to honour the Queen’s reign, service and dedication to our country, as well as to celebrate Canadian achievements over the past 60 years. One of these initiatives is the year-long awarding of the Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Administered by the office of the Governor General of Canada, this commemorative medal is a way for Canadians to honour Her Majesty for her service to our country. At the same time, it serves as recognition for those hard-working Canadians who make significant contributions to our communities.
So far this year, I have presented 15 deserving Northeastern BC residents with this incredible honour. In May, several ceremonies were held in which I presented medals to Fort St. John residents Larry and Neil Evans, Dawson Creek residents Paul Gevatkoff and Tim Love, Tumbler Ridge residents Dr. Charles Helm and Rose Colledge, and Prince George resident Sheldon Clare.
In June, Captain Ben Lippers of Fort St. John and Rose Prairie resident Mike King received their medals.
On Canada Day, Prince George residents Dr. Gail Fondahl, Susan Scott, Bruce Sutherland, and Baljit Sethi were honoured in front of a crowd at Fort George Park.
And in August, Fort St. John resident Lori Slater and Dawson Creek resident Connie Patterson each received their medals in separate ceremonies.
Whether it is through their commitment to public service, volunteer work, fundraising for charities, or raising our region’s profile both nationally and internationally, each of these individuals has, in his or her own way, made significant contributions to their communities and to our region.
There is still plenty of time to nominate an individual from our region who you believe is deserving of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and I am looking forward to presenting more of these medals throughout the rest of the year.
To be eligible for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, an person must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; must have made a significant contribution to a particular region here at home or abroad; and, must have been alive on February 6, 2012, the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the Throne (the medal can be awarded posthumously).
To recommend someone, residents can contact my office at Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.caor 1-855-767-4567.
Reflecting on the First Year as a Majority Government
I have been honoured to spend these first few weeks of summer taking part in a number of exciting events throughout the riding. From Canada Day in Prince George, to the grand openings of the Peace River Regional District’s Accessibility and Mechanical Upgrade Project, the new Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa, and Spectra Energy’s Dawson Processing Plant, it’s been a productive start to the summer.
At the same time, I have also had the chance to reflect on all that our Government has achieved over the past year. Last May, Canadians selected a strong, stable, national, majority Conservative Government. Since then, we have worked hard and made critical choices resulting in accomplishments that are making a difference in the lives of all Canadians.
For instance, we’ve delivered action to support jobs and growth by extending the Hiring Credit for Small Business, helping small businesses grow and employ more workers. We’ve also delivered support for youth, older workers, and Canadians with disabilities entering the workforce. In addition, by investing in public infrastructure such as the permanent funding of the Gas Tax Fund for municipalities, we’re helping to deliver a job creation environment for tradespeople all across the country.
We’ve expanded trade and opened markets for Canadian business, while continuing to pursue new (and strengthen existing) trade relationships – particularly with large, dynamic and fast-growing economies in Asia. Plus, we’ve helped elevate Canada’s business competitiveness by reducing red tape. Meanwhile, we’ve also taken action to move Canada’s immigration system towards one that places substantial focus on meeting Canada’s labour market needs.
We’ve established Responsible Resource Development, which ensures regulatory reviews are improved and streamlined, and that major projects take environmental safety into consideration. We’ve also extended the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, which helps mining companies raise capital, and delivered additional support for fisheries, forestry, and agriculture across the country.
Meanwhile, public safety is something that our Conservative Government has always taken very seriously. We abolished the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry which wasn’t keeping Canadians safe, only criminalizing honest hunters and farmers. We passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act, comprehensive legislation which cracks down on drug dealers and organized crime, while delivering support for victims. We’ve also passed a number of other crime bills, including legislation to support victims of white-collar crime, and to ensure the mandatory reporting by internet service providers of child pornography.
In addition, we’ve delivered support to ensure Canada’s retirement system remains sustainable for today’s seniors and for future generations, while continuing to support our Veterans and delivering tax relief for families. We also kept our promise and passed into law the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, giving our wheat and barley farmers the freedom to contract their grain to the buyer of their choice. Plus, we introduced legislation to make the Senate more democratic, accountable and representative of all Canadians.
In one year, our Government has achieved these accomplishments without raising taxes, or cutting transfers to seniors or the provinces for social spending such as education and health care.
It has been an extremely busy and fulfilling year, and I look forward to the hard work that lies ahead as we enter the second year of our mandate and continue to implement Economic Action Plan 2012. Until then, I look forward to continuing to travel throughout the riding over the summer and meeting with, and hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.
For further information (media only):
Office of Bob Zimmer
Member of Parliament
Prince George-Peace River
Government of Canada Launches Call for Proposals for Projects Led and Inspired by Seniors
Ottawa, ON—Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, is encouraging local organizations that work to promote the well-being of Canada’s seniors to apply for federal funding.
The 2012–2013 call for proposals for community-based projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program launched on May 8, 2012 for all provinces and territories.
Organizations can receive up to $25,000 in funding per year and must address one or more of the program’s five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.
“We know how important it is to provide meaningful programs and activities involving our seniors,” said Mr. Zimmer. “Our Government is committed to improving the lives of our seniors and we are proud to support organizations that share in this commitment.”
“Seniors have a diversity of skills and knowledge and the New Horizons for Seniors Program helps put their experiences to use through volunteerism and mentorship,” added Mr. Zimmer. “By investing in these community projects, our government is improving both the quality of life for Canadian seniors and their neighbourhoods.”
The application deadline for community-based projects is June 29, 2012 for all of Canada, except Quebec. The Quebec call will close on September 14, 2012, to coincide with a provincial call for proposals. For more information about the call for proposals, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.
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For further information (media only):
Office of Bob Zimmer
Member of Parliament
Prince George-Peace River
MP Report by Bob Zimmer
“A Whirlwind Start to 2012”
With the House of Commons on winter break, this past month I took part in several events and meetings throughout the riding.
Starting off in Fort Nelson, I met with the District Council to discuss infrastructure needs in the region. I will be bringing these needs to the attention of the Infrastructure Minister as we resume Parliament.
Next up was the annual BC Natural Resource Forum in Prince George. There I had the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and officially thank former federal minister Stockwell Day for his key note speech on the need for regulatory reform. Following the Forum, I met with the Prince George City Council to discuss the city’s priorities moving forward.
Then, I was back in Fort Nelson to announce an investment in upgrades to an eight kilometre stretch of the Alaska Highway in the Fort Nelson area.
Heading back to Prince George, I met up with the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, to take part in an economic consultation with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and then a visit to the Pineview Firehall to promote the new non-refundable tax credit for volunteer firefighters.
From there, it was off to Fort St. John to announce $980,000 in gas tax funding to assist the Peace River Regional District in constructing a gas management facility at the Fort St. John Landfill.
While in Fort St. John I met with the City Council to discuss future plans for the city and gave a speech to the Chamber of Commerce highlighting our Government’s priorities in 2012 and to discuss important initiatives we have introduced to assist small business owners. I also met with the North Peace Rod and Gun Club to talk about the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act and to address other concerns.
I then headed to Dawson Creek, where I held my first passport clinic. That afternoon we were able to help approximately 70 residents with their passport applications. The clinic also provided me with the opportunity to meet with constituents one-on-one to answer any other questions they may have had. While my offices in Fort St. John and Prince George offer help with passport applications every day, with a riding as large as ours, I will be providing similar clinics to residents throughout the riding in the near future.
And finally, it was off to Tumbler Ridge where I announced $265,000 in funding for the Palaeontology Research Centre and tour the facility.
It’s been a busy month, but I am grateful for the opportunity to meet and spend time with so many people – whether it was during a scheduled meeting, or while standing in line at Tim Horton’s – and I am looking forward to doing similar tours in the future.
As always, ifyou would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to contact my office in Fort St. John at 250-787-1194, Prince George at 250-561-7982, or Ottawa at 613-947-4524.
MP Report by Bob Zimmer
“A Look Back On 2011”
2011 has been an extremely busy but productive and rewarding year!After much hard work and time spent meeting with thousands of residents throughout the riding, I am honoured and humbled to be representing you as your Member of Parliament in Ottawa.
Thank you once again for putting your trust in me. I appreciate that you exercised your democratic right to stand up for the values and concerns of Canadians, and I am working every day to defend your interests in Ottawa.
Walking into the House of Commons and taking my seat for the first time this past spring, I was not only struck by the historical significance of the room that I was in, but also the immense responsibility you have entrusted in me. It was a moment I will truly never forget.
On May 2, Canadians chose a strong, stable, national Conservative majority Government focused on delivering results for families, seniors, and businesses.
Our first budget as a majority government has ensured that we will continue to guide Canada’s economic recovery, while also identifying savings and eliminating the deficit. At the same time, we are directing our attention to several other key issues and fulfilling longstanding promises we have made to Canadians.
The recent session of Parliament ended on a historic note, with the Marketing Freedom for Western Grain Farmers Act receiving Royal Assent and becoming law. With the passing of this legislation, Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers now have right to decide whether to sell their product in an open market, or through the Canadian Wheat Board without the fear of going to jail.
Our Government has also remained committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions and that the safety and security of law-abiding Canadians and victims comes first in Canada’s justice system. To that end, our Safe Streets and Communities legislationhas passed in the House of Commons and is quickly making its way through the Senate. This Bill contains measures that will protect our children from sexual predators, crack down on organized crime and protect the rights of victims.
At the same time, we are working to ensure that law-abiding citizens are not treated like criminals. That is why we have introduced legislation that will scrap the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry and its data once and for all. Finally, our local hunters, farmers and sport shooters will no longer be treated like criminals for simply owning a rifle or shotgun.
These are just a few examples of what our majority Conservative Government has been able to accomplish over these past few months. While I will always look back on 2011 with a great sense of pride, there is still much more work to be done.
In the New Year, I will continue to meet with local community leaders, stakeholders, and individual constituents, listening to their concerns and ideas. If you would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to contact my office in Fort St. John at 250-787-1194, Prince George at 250-561-7982, or Ottawa at 613-947-4524.
MP Zimmer Encourages Residents to Submit Nominations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals 1/10/12
OTTAWA– As part Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, is encouraging residents to nominate individuals for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“This year’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a unique opportunity for all of us to learn more about Her Majesty and to see how much Canada has evolved during her 60 year reign,” said Mr. Zimmer. “The Medal will honour those Canadians, who, like Her Majesty, have dedicated themselves to service to family, community and country.”
Some 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals—to match the 60 years of service of Her Majesty—will be given to Canadians throughout the year. This is a legacy activity that honours Her Majesty and recognizes the service of Canadians from all walks of life and backgrounds who have made significant contributions to their communities and helped create the Canada of today. The achievements of younger Canadians who are actively contributing to our future will also be a focus.
Residents of Northeastern BC are encouraged to contact Mr. Zimmer to suggest the names of candidates. Nominations will be accepted until December 31, 2012, with medal presentations taking place throughout the year.
“I am looking forward to hearing from residents and learning more about the contributions members of our communities have made to the region, and to Canada as a whole,” said Mr. Zimmer. “It it an honour to be a part of the medal program and to see our local community leaders get the recognition they deserve.”
If you know someone who you believe deserves this honour, please contact Mr. Zimmer’s office at 1-855-767-4567 or by email at Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca.