Minister Maryam Monsef highlights investments in youth in Budget 2021

From: Women and Gender Equality Canada

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 post-secondary student leaders in the Golden Horseshoe and southwestern Ontario to discuss Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. They discussed the Government of Canada’s investments in students and youth, including financial assistance for students, support for jobs and skills training, mental health resources, as well as plans to grow and strengthen the economy and the important role of youth in the recovery.

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.

Young Canadians must be at the centre of our recovery not only to help them rebound today, but to invest in their future success and the future success of our economy.

Budget 2021 builds on Canada’s investments in youth with over $5.7 billion over the next five years to help young Canadians-including from low-income households-pursue and complete their education, to provide additional relief from student loan debt for young graduates, and to create 215,000 new job skills development and work opportunities.

Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents the largest ever investment in young Canadians-totaling $13.1 billion over six years. This represents one of the largest youth support packages from around the world. Canada’s growth and prosperity well into the future depends on new opportunities for young people today.

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; 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.

Quotes

“We intend to double the Canada Student Grant for two additional years, extend the waiver of interest on federal student loans, and create hundreds of thousands of work placement opportunities so our economy benefits from the energy and talent of young professionals. From increased support for BIPOC communities and disabled Canadians, to increasing mental health and community-based supports, we will continue to invest in and engage with this powerful generation of Canadians.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • 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 the number of weeks for important income support for Canadians such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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