“As I said to the World Economic Forum in January, many countries with which Canada is traditionally aligned continue to be weighed down by debts they cannot seem to control, by entitlements they can no longer afford and by growth which threatens to remain sluggish for the foreseeable future.
“As I said in January, it is high time we realize that:
“The wealth of western economies is no more inevitable than the poverty of emerging ones.”
“As these last four years have revealed, the wealth we enjoy today in the West is not inevitable.
“Our standard of living will be based on – and will be based only on – strong, growth-orientated policies and on getting the hard choices right.
“That is why, over the past year, the Government of Canada has committed itself to a series of determined actions, we want to help ensure that growth, job creation and economic prosperity will be there for Canadians over the long term.
“Now, broadly, for the sake of a shorthand, we categorize our various set of actions, which I’ll review quickly, into what I call the five ‘T’s’.
“The first of these is taxes; what I mean by that is keeping them down while ensuring strong government finances at the same time.
“We have continued to restrain and reform government expenditures to ensure that our budget will be balanced over the medium term and, perhaps more importantly, we have taken actions to ensure that the federal fiscal position will be clearly sustainable over the next generation and beyond.
“The second ‘T’ is training and by that I mean that we are reforming broadly our labour markets.
“We are investing in training and higher education at home.
“We are also making Canada’s open and generous immigration system faster and more flexible in order to attract and integrate those with the skills we need as quickly as possible.
“As well, we have improved incentives in our Employment Insurance program to better connect Canadians with available work.
“The third ‘T’ refers to technology.
“We are just beginning to comprehensively modernize our approach to research and innovation policy in order to get better commercial results for the significant government investments we make in scientific and technological development.
“The fourth ‘T’ refers to the transformation, and specifically to the transformation of bureaucratic processes.
“We are doing a number of things, for example, we have launched the Red Tape Reduction Initiative and the Responsible Resource Development Initiative.
“The goal of the latter is to ensure that environmental reviews are comprehensive and that they are also completed in a reasonable timeframe according to the principle of ‘one project, one review’.
“The final ‘T’ and the one that brings me again to this part of the world is, of course, trade, and more broadly, our Global Commerce Strategy for trade and investment.
“Now since our Government came to office in 2006, we have successfully concluded foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with fourteen countries, that, of course, includes China.
“We are negotiating with twelve more.
“Since 2006, Canada has also concluded new trade agreements with nine countries and we’ve launched negotiations with over sixty others.