Minister Fortier highlights new supports in Fall Economic Statement during virtual townhall with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
December 2, 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, spoke with mayors and members of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities 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 Government of Canada’s priority continues to be fighting COVID-19 and protecting Canadians’ health and safety. To this end, the federal government has provided extraordinary support to provinces and territories, and secured the most diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates of any country in the world, with agreements for up to 429 million doses from seven leading candidates. When a safe and effective vaccine is available, the federal government will make it available, for free. Recognizing the tragic deaths from COVID-19 that we saw in the spring, the Fall Economic Statement seeks to establish a new $1 billion Safe Long-term Care Fund that will help protect seniors and our most vulnerable. The federal government will work with provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care.
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 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’ve committed to support Canadians and Canadian businesses through this crisis. Once the virus is under control, we will make targeted investments to fast-track a robust and inclusive recovery. These investments will ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to succeed and have access to the tools and supportive environments they need to achieve a good quality of life. Together, we can build back to a greener, more inclusive, and more resilient economy.”
The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
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 through the pandemic and support a robust and resilient recovery, including:
- To fight COVID-19, investments in testing and tracing, procurement of personal protective equipment, and a suite of measures to protect people in long-term care, and $150 million to improve ventilation in public buildings and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- To support businesses and other employers through the second wave, increasing the maximum rate of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to 75 per cent for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and extending this rate until March 13, 2021, and extending the current rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until March 13, 2021. Both programs will be there for businesses until June 2021.
- To support Canada’s hardest-hit industries, like tourism, hotels, arts and culture, and the air sector, new support including the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program.
- To help families with young children, provide temporary support of up to $1,200 in 2021 for each child under the age of 6 for families entitled to the Canada Child Benefit.
- To make a down payment on our recovery, support for Canadians to make their homes greener and more energy efficient, a plan to plant 2 billion trees and laying the groundwork for a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System.
- To accelerate Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy, investments of $150 million to support the construction of zero-emission vehicle charging stations.
- To support rental housing, providing an additional $12 billion in lending by expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.
In the summer, the Government of Canada announced more than $4 billion so provinces and territories could build up their testing and contact tracing capacity, part of a $19.9‑billion safe restart package.
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.
- Government of Canada Releases Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020
- A Prudent Fiscal Plan
- New Support for Tourism and Hospitality
- A Team Canada Approach to Fighting COVID-19: Supporting Provinces, Territories, Municipalities and Indigenous Communities
- Building Back Better: A Plan to Fight the COVID-19 Recession
- A Plan for the Coming Months: Supporting Canadians Through the Pandemic
- Fighting COVID-19
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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