Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.
Today, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, met with Alberta women-, family- and youth-serving organizations to discuss investments in early learning and childcare, as well as other supports for families introduced in Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience.
The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women, and racialized Canadians. For businesses, it has been a two-speed recession, with some finding ways to prosper and grow, but many businesses-especially small businesses-fighting to survive. 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.
Investing in early learning and child care offers a jobs-and-growth hat trick: it provides jobs for workers, the majority of whom are women; it enables parents, particularly mothers, to reach their full economic potential; and, it creates a generation of engaged and well-prepared young learners.
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, territorial, and Indigenous partners to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of quality child care, and to ensure that early childhood educators are at the heart of the system.
The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting Canadians’ health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. Vaccine rollout is underway across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory. Budget 2021 invests in Canada’s bio-manufacturing and life sciences sector to rebuild domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, and has a plan to put in place national standards for long-term care and mental health services.
Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and towards a robust recovery. It proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and to make investments to create jobs and help businesses across the economy come roaring back. It will support almost 500,000 new training and work opportunities including 215,000 opportunities for youth; support businesses in our most affected sectors such as tourism and arts and culture; and accelerate investment and digital transformation at small and medium-sized businesses. Budget 2021 is a plan that puts Canada on track to meet its commitment to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year.
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.
“The number one job of Budget 2021 is to get people back to work. We will do that by conquering COVID-19, getting vaccines into arms, and supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic. Our investments in childcare will cut fees in half by next year, which will leave more money in the pockets of families. In five years, every Canadian family will have a choice of $10/day childcare, which would reduce the average cost per child in Alberta from $1100 a month to approximately $200 a month. With a distinction based focus for Indigenous families and separate investments for kids with disabilities, this system will offer quality care for our kids, peace of mind and more choice for families and enable the biggest growth to our economy since NAFTA.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
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 totaling up to $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 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.
- Creating a temporary Community Services Recovery Fund to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize so they can better support the economic recovery in our communities, through an investment of $400 million in 2021-22.
- Moving forward on a first-ever National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence to ensure that anyone facing gender-based violence has reliable and timely access to protection and services, no matter where they live, through an investment of $601.3 million over five years starting in 2021-22.
- Enhancing Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
- 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.