I really want to begin today by thanking Murad Al-Katib, and his organization, Alliance Grain Traders, for inviting us here today, and for giving us all a reason to celebrate. I have been to a lot of announcements of the launch of new business ventures, but this one truly stands out.
The project itself is impressive: a $50-million private investment, creating 150 construction jobs now and 60 full-time jobs in the plant once it’s finished. It’s not costing the government anything either – I have to mention that.
But beyond that, what we’re seeing here is a new horizon, not just for Western grain farmers, but for workers and businesses in Western Canada generally.
Alliance Grain Traders has 12 Canadian processing facilities for pulse crops. Now, looking ahead to the opening of the wheat market, the company is building its first Canadian pasta plant, right here in Saskatchewan.
As you know, our government is committed to giving Western grain farmers the freedom to choose how to market their products, something that Eastern grain farmers have long taken for granted. This is not only a matter of principle – it will lead to real economic benefits, like this one, for years to come.
An open grain market will attract new investment, encourage innovation, and create good new jobs for Canadians. In fact, as we see here today, even the promise of it is doing just that.
Friends, as you know, our government remains focused on the economy. Our number-one priority is to help create jobs now, and to support long-term economic growth for more jobs in the future.
The government has a crucial role to play, especially in a time of renewed global economic instability. But government can never replace the initiative of Canadian workers and businesses. Ultimately it’s their vision that sees new opportunities, it’s their expertise that creates new ventures, and it’s their hard work that drives our prosperity.
Our government will remain vigilant and active, to protect Canadian jobs and the Canadian economy. We will keep taxes low, we will focus government spending on priorities, and we will keep opening and expanding new markets, to help create jobs and prosperity for all Canadians. These policies have served us well.
With today’s numbers, the Canadian economy has now created more than 650,000 net new jobs since July 2009 – the strongest record by far in the G7. And according to most recent forecast of the International Monetary Fund, Canada will have the strongest overall economic growth among G7 countries over the next two years.
But Canada will continue to feel the effects of instability in the global economy, so we need to stay focused, to protect Canadians, to promote our advantage, and to plan for our future. That’s why our government is implementing the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, including important job-creating measures like the Hiring Credit for Small Business. That’s why we will continue to support new opportunities for Canadian farmers, and for all Canadian workers and businesses, and it is why I’m so excited to be here with all of you today.