Minister Fortier highlights new supports in Fall Economic Statement during virtual roundtable discussion with economic stakeholders in Quebec
December 1, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
A second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped people and economies around the world, including Canada.
Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, joined the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant, in a virtual meeting with economic stakeholders in Quebec to talk about proposed investments in Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020. During the meeting, Minister Fortier discussed how the government will continue to protect Canadians’ health, jobs, and the economy.
The Fall Economic Statement provided an update on the Canadian economy, showing that the Government of Canada’s unprecedented investment has managed to stabilize the economy through the crisis. However, many businesses continue to face significant challenges as Canadians limit physical contacts, and employment gains have been slower for women, young people, racialized Canadians and lower income workers. The coming months will be difficult, and ongoing fiscal support will remain necessary deep into 2021 in order to protect jobs as well as our economy.
Once the virus is under control, the Government of Canada will invest in a growth plan of roughly three to four per cent of GDP, up to $100 billion, over three years, to jumpstart our recovery. Time-limited investments will help build a Canadian economy that is cleaner, more inclusive, more innovative and more competitive. The Fall Economic Statement puts a down payment on this plan, investing in measures that can be safely implemented now. It also begins work on transformative initiatives such as a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System, programs to support the economy’s green transformation and measures to address systemic racism.
The government’s stimulus will be designed, first and foremost, to provide the fiscal support the Canadian economy needs to operate at its full capacity and to prevent any long-term damage to our economic potential. Key to this stimulus plan will be smart, time-limited investments that can act fast and make a long-run contribution to Canada’s future shared prosperity, quality of life, competitiveness, and green transformation.
“We know that times really are difficult for businesses and for Quebecers right now. We are here to support you, and we will continue to fight hard for you every day. With the new investments in the Fall Economic Statement, we will build back better by fighting this pandemic, supporting Canadians and investing in growth that prioritizes Canadians’ quality of life.”
- The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
“Today, we’re presenting a plan that will help Quebecers get through this pandemic, and that will get our economy back up and running. We’re protecting the health of our most vulnerable, our jobs, and our families, and we’re ensuring a green, innovative economic recovery, based on our strongest regions. We’re listening to our regions, and we will do whatever it takes to support them.”
- The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant
To date, more than eight of every 10 dollars spent in Canada to fight COVID-19 and support Canadians has been spent by the federal government and this unprecedented support has prevented economic scarring and stabilized the economy.
The Fall Economic Statement proposes new measures to see Canadians and Canadian businesses through the pandemic and support a robust and resilient recovery, including:
- increasing the maximum Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy rate to 75 per cent for the period beginning December 20, 2020, and extending this rate until March 13, 2021;
- extending the current subsidy rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to March 13, 2021, to provide greater certainty to businesses and other organizations;
- extending the deadline to apply for a Canada Emergency Business Account loan to March 31, 2021;
- creating the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program for the hardest hit businesses in sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment;
- earmarking 25 per cent of all Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) funding as dedicated to supporting local tourism businesses, ensuring the industry will have benefitted from more than $500 million in RRRF support through June 2021.
As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, the Government of Canada has allocated $3.1 billion for the province of Quebec.
As of late November, 164,246 loans were approved to businesses in Quebec, totaling $6.57 billion under the Canada Emergency Business Account.
As of late November, 33,364 small business tenants representing 297,425 employees in Quebec benefitted from the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, totaling $410.7 million.
As of October 25, 311,450 applications to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy were approved in Quebec, for a total of $10 billion in subsidies paid out.
Canada entered the pandemic in a position of strength, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among G7 peers, a position it still retains. Our history of prudent fiscal management and current historically low borrowing rates have meant that Canada’s debt is affordable now, and will be for future generations. In fact, federal debt-servicing costs, relative to the size of Canada’s economy, are at a 100-year low.
Media may contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
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