Ottawa, Ontario – COVID-19 has affected all Canadians, but women have been disproportionately impacted. In the labour market, women were hit earlier and harder, and their jobs continue to recover more slowly. Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience is a plan to drive economic growth, increase women’s participation in the workforce, and offer each child in Canada the best start in life.
Today, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, met with over twenty women entrepreneurs from Atlantic Canada to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives and investments from Budget 2021 that will help drive an economy recovery in their sectors. Minister Jordan heard from a wide range of business owners such as those in in the construction industry, retail and tourism sectors, service industry and multiple members of Atlantic Chambers of Commerce, all from various regions across Atlantic Canada.
Canadian women entrepreneurs are important to Canada’s economic success, but women still face unique and systemic barriers to starting and growing a business, and they remain underrepresented in the economy. Budget 2021 makes a generational investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. This plan will aim to reduce fees for parents with children in regulated child care by 50 per cent on average, by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2026, everywhere outside of Quebec. Budget 2021 will invest almost $30 billion over the next five years and provide permanent ongoing funding, working with provincial and territorial, and Indigenous partners to support quality, not-for-profit child care, and ensuring the needs of early childhood educators are at the heart of the system.
To provide affordable financing, increase data, and strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, Budget 2021 proposes to provide up to $146.9 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to strengthen the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Women entrepreneurs would have greater access to financing, mentorship, and training. Funding would also further support the Women Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. The government will also work with financial institutions to develop a voluntary code to help support the inclusion of women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs as clients in the financial sector.
Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.
“Budget 2021 is a plan to get even more Canadians back to work. That means building an inclusive, feminist economy where more women can join – and stay in – the workforce. Through Budget 2021, our government will strengthen the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, launch the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund and introduce affordable childcare for parentss. Through the smart, targeted investments, we will continue to dismantle barriers and inequalities across Atlantic Canada and our entire country to ensure every woman can participate fully in Canada’s workforce.”
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan and Member of Parliament for South Shore- St. Margaret’s.
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 up to $30 billion over the next five years and $8.3 billion ongoing to support this vision.
- 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 important income support for Canadians such as a 12-week extension of the Canada Recovery Benefit and 4-week extension of the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
- Enhancing Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
- 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.
- 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.