Minister Vandal highlights Budget 2021 supports for Northern tourism and small businesses

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs 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 Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, met with Indigenous and territorial partners, and representatives from the small business and tourism industry in the Northwest Territories to discuss investments from 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.

The impact of COVID-19 on workers and businesses in tourism, arts, and culture has been severe. Indigenous and Northern communities are often in rural and remote areas and the success of Indigenous-led businesses, including tourism businesses, is critically important to local jobs and economies. Budget 2021 introduces additional Indigenous Business Supports to increase opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses, and increase the proportion of Indigenous businesses owned and operated by Indigenous women.

With the rollout of vaccines, businesses in the tourism, arts, and culture sectors will be getting ready to welcome Canadians back to experience the great places and activities this country has to offer-when it is safe to do so. Canadians are eager to return to the local festivals and places they know and love. To assist the sectors’ recovery, the government proposes to make available a further package of supports, totalling $1 billion over three years, starting in 2021-22.

Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $2.4 million in 2021-22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and $500 million to establish a Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies. The fund will support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting their products and services to public health measures and other investments that will help them recover from the pandemic and position themselves for future growth.

To help Indigenous entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, create jobs, and generate prosperity in their communities, Budget 2021 proposes to invest $42 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program. This will directly support Indigenous-led businesses and help Indigenous communities generate wealth by improving access to capital and business opportunities.

Budget 2021 also proposes to extend the application deadline for support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021 to support Indigenous businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation businesses.

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 COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the North, including on Indigenous partners, small and medium sized businesses, the tourism and hospitality sector and more. Budget 2021 is an historic investment to address the the COVID-19 recession, positioning the North to “build back better” as we move forward to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a resilient economy.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Northern Affairs

“The federal government has continued to be a strong partner to the Northwest Territories throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget 2021 is a result of that continued collaboration and I am pleased to see that our government is directly responding to the needs of northerners in recovering from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

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:

    • Investing $22 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative by providing tools, services, and resources to increase the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs. This funding would support NACCA in achieving its target of increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs who access financing through Aboriginal Financial Institutions by 50 per cent.
    • $1.4 billion to see Indigenous communities and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, including distinctions-based funding under the Indigenous Community Support Fund and the Indigenous Community Business Fund, funding to maintain the public health response in First Nations communities, and support for the First Nations Finance Authority.
    • $64 million to help Indigenous entrepreneurs, including Indigenous women, access capital and business supports to start and grow their businesses.
    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $8 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university. This would help create new opportunities in the Northwest Territories and prepare northerners for good jobs.
    • $700 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for the regional development agencies to support business financing. This would position local economies for long-term growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and creating jobs in every corner of the country.
    • $500 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to the regional development agencies for community infrastructure. These projects will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    • $87 million over five years to modernize federal procurement and create opportunities for specific communities by diversifying the federal supplier base. This will in part, support efforts to meet Canada’s target of 5 per cent of federal contracts being awarded to businesses managed and led by Indigenous people.
    • Extending the Indigenous Business Initiative to June 30, 2021 to support Indigenous businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation businesses.
    • Budget 2021 proposes to expand access to the travel component of the Northern Residents Deduction. Northerners without employer-provided travel benefits would be allowed to claim up to $1,200 in eligible travel expenses. This measure would take effect starting with the 2021 tax year.
    • $25 million this fiscal year to the Government of the Northwest Territories to address housing priorities, supporting construction of 30 new public housing units across the Territory.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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