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g8 member countries 023

Jobs and Prosperity D Canada has economically outperformed most industrialised countries during these recent difficult years for the global economy. Forbes magazine ranks Canada as the best place on the planet for businesses to grow and create jobs. The OECD and the IMF predict our economy will again be among the leaders of the industrialised world over the next two years. Among G-7 countries, Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment. Our net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in the G-7 - and by far. And, while we remain concerned about the number of Canadians who are still out of work, Canada is one of only two G-7 countries to have recouped all of the jobs lost during the global recession. Indeed, more Canadians are now working, than before the downturn. How was this achieved?Faced with the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s, our Government implemented some of the most extensive and targeted economic stimulus measures of the G-20. We made historic investments in infrastructure. We encouraged businesses to invest and helped them to avoid layoffs.  We put substantial funding into skills training, and we extended support for workers who lost their jobs.These things we did on a timely, targeted and temporary basis. We did not create permanent new programmes or government bureaucracy.  As a consequence, our deficit is now falling, our debt-GDP ratio has already peaked and we do not need to raise taxes.  I should add that we also did not reduce immigration or give in to protectionism. Instead, we have maintained the high levels of Pictured: Stephen HarperStephen Harper, Prime Minister, Canadaimmigration that our ageing labour force of the future will require. We have continued to pursue new trade agreements. And we have taken action to make Canada, among G-20 countries, the first tariff-free zone for manufacturers. We have pursued these policies, because our number-one priority as a government is prosperity, that is, economic growth and job creation. Now, that may sound obvious, almost clichéd. But is it really? As I look around the world, as I look particularly at developed countries, I ask whether the creation of economic growth, and therefore jobs, really is the number-one policy priority everywhere?Or is it the case, that in the developed world too many of us have, in fact, become complacent about our prosperity, taking our wealth as a given, assuming it is somehow the natural order of things, leaving us instead to focus primarily on our services and entitlements?Is it a coincidence that as the veil falls on the financial crisis, it reveals beneath it, not just too much bank debt, but too much sovereign debt, too much general willingness to have standards and benefits beyond our ability or even willingness to pay for them? I do not know. But what I do know is this. First, that the wealth of western economies is no more inevitable than the poverty of emerging ones, and that the wealth we enjoy today has been based on - and only on - the good, growth-oriented policies, the right, often tough choices and the hard work done in the past. And second, that regardless of what direction other western nations may choose, under our Government, Canada will make the transformations necessary to sustain economic growth, job creation and prosperity now and for the next generation.022 g8 member countries