Canada's Finance Minister Announces 'Building Canada' Plan

Minister Jim Flaherty said the plan includes a $53 billion commitment to infrastructure projects starting in 2014.

Jim Flaherty, Canada's minister of finance, explained the government's 2013 economic plan on March 22 during a Vancouver speech, and it includes a new Building Canada plan that mirrors what several Washington, D.C. powerful interests -- including President Obama, NTSB Chair Deborah A.P. Hersman, congressional leaders, and construction trade associations -- say is needed in the United States, as well.

Flaherty also highlighted a skills training initiative and new investments to support manufacturing and innovation. "Together, the initiatives in Economic Action Plan 2013 build on previous actions by our government to connect Canadians with new, high-quality jobs, to provide long-term predictable funding to build roads, bridges, and commuter rail, and to make significant investments in our manufacturers and small businesses," he said.

The overall plan includes a 10-year, $53 billion infrastructure commitment beginning in 2014 that Flaherty said will be the largest in Canada's history and $1.4 billion in tax relief for manufacturers and processors via a two-year extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance. Still, the government pledges to balance the budget by 2015.

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