Minister Bennett highlights COVID-19 and investments to support communities in Budget 2021
April 23, 2021 — Windsor, Ontario
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, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, met with social services providers to discuss COVID-19 and investments to support communities 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 with 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.
Communities across Canada face complex social, economic, and environmental challenges—many of which have been deepened by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of charities, non-profits, cooperatives, and other social purpose organizations are committed to addressing these challenges directly at the community level. During the pandemic, many have seen the demand for their services surge while watching their revenues plummet.
The sector employs over 611,000 people, many of whom are women, Black and racialized Canadians, young people, newcomers, and others who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These organizations have invaluable on-the-ground knowledge of their communities' needs and provide much-needed community and social support. They are key partners in our work to reopen and rebuild our communities. Budget 2021 proposes to renew the Investment Readiness Program for $50 million over two years, starting in 2021–22. This program supports charities, non-profits, and social purpose organizations in capacity-building activities such as developing business plans, expanding products and services, developing skills, and hiring.
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 roll out 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 toward a robust recovery. It is a plan to drive economic growth, a plan to secure women's place in the workforce, and a plan to offer each and every child in Canada the best start in life. This plan will aim to reduce child care fees for parents by 50 per cent on average by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2025–26 for all regulated child care spaces in Canada. It proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and 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 in 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 by supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.
"Organizations have provided essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have also faced hardship. The Government of Canada is committed to providing them with temporary support. As we navigate our recovery, we must also bolster Canada's thriving social sector so that we can build healthy, resilient, and inclusive communities across the country."
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
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 the following:
- Renewing the Investment Readiness Program for $50 million over two years, starting in 2021–22. This program supports charities, non-profits, and social purpose organizations in capacity-building activities such as developing business plans, expanding products and services, developing skills, and hiring.
- 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.
- 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 provide them with the advice they need to get the most out 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, representing an additional $2.2 billion investment in the growth of Canada's entrepreneurs over the next five years.
Media may contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
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