Today, Earth Day, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, continued her tour to discuss Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience at the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy. Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that brings all Canadians along.
Budget 2021 is an historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous.
In 2021, job growth means green growth. Building a net zero economy is no longer a matter of debate. This is where many of the jobs of the future lie. Budget 2021 is a plan for a green recovery that fights climate change, helps more than 200,000 Canadians make their homes greener, builds a net-zero economy by investing in world-leading technologies that make industry cleaner, and creates good middle-class jobs in the green economy along the way.
This budget invests $17.6 billion in a green recovery that sets out important measures that will help achieve the government’s emissions reductions objective of 40 per cent by 2030 below 2005 levels, exceeding Canada’s Paris climate targets and put us on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and puts in place the funding to achieve Canada’s goal of conserving 25 per cent of our lands and oceans by 2025.
It includes a historic investment of a further proposed $5 billion over seven years in the Net Zero Accelerator to help even more companies invest to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, while growing their businesses.
Around the world, countries and investors realize that climate action is the key to building strong, resilient economies. Fighting climate change, including by reaching net-zero, will be a cornerstone of this government’s plan to rebuild the economy, create middle class jobs, and ensure Canadian industry stays competitive on the world stage.
“This budget keeps our promise to get Canada back to work and to ensure the lives and prospects of Canadians are able to get to the other side of this pandemic. It is as much about jumpstarting our economy as it is about investing in measures that will increase the quality of life for our citizens – things like child care, arts and culture, the environment and public infrastructure.”
Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier
Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures include:
- Establishing a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, in partnership with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners, which will help all families access affordable, high-quality, and flexible child care no matter where they live, and no longer shoulder the burden of high child care costs. The budget proposes new investments totalling almost $30 billion over the next five years. Combined with previous investments, a minimum of $9.2 billion per year ongoing will be invested in child care, starting in 2025-26.
- Extending emergency supports to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through to recovery, including:
- Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.
- Extending the number of weeks available for important income support for Canadians such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
- Enhancing Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
- Increasing Old Age Security for seniors age 75 and older to provide them with better financial security.
- Supporting small and medium-sized businesses through several transformative programs, such as:
- A new Canada Digital Adoption Program that will assist over 160,000 businesses with the cost of new technology. And it will provide them with the advice they need to get the most of new technology with the help of 28,000 young Canadians who will be trained to work with them.
- Allowing Canadian small businesses to fully expense up to $1.5 million in capital investments in a broad range of assets, including digital technology and intellectual property. This represents an additional $2.2 billion investment in the growth of Canada’s entrepreneurs over the next five years.
- Revitalizing Canada’s tourism sector through $1 billion to help tourism businesses recover and support festivals and cultural events that provide jobs and growth in many of our cities and communities.
- Supporting women, Black Canadians, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who face barriers to launching and owning businesses through $300 million to enhance initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
- Establishing a $15 federal minimum wage.
- Enriching the Canada Workers Benefit, which will support about 1 million more Canadians and lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty. This will result in additional support of $8.9 billion over six years for Canada’s low-wage workers.
- Helping to build, repair, and support 35,000 affordable housing units for vulnerable Canadians through an investment of $2.5 billion and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in existing funding.
- Closing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, supporting healthy, safe, and prosperous Indigenous communities, and advancing meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation through an historic investment of over $18 billion.