Minister Fortier and Parliamentary Secretary Fergus meet with Black business community leaders to discuss priorities as part of Budget 2021 consultations
February 3, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, met virtually with leaders from the country’s Black business community to discuss the opportunities to create growth and ensure an inclusive, equitable and resilient recovery from COVID-19 that leaves no one behind.
The meeting took place during Black History Month, which is a reminder that systemic racism and discrimination is a painful lived reality for Black Canadians. Data shows that COVID-19 has hit some people harder than others, including Black and racialized Canadians who have experienced many of the worst health and economic impacts of the pandemic. By working together, the Government of Canada is committed to building an economy where all Canadians are able to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic and social progress, regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or abilities.
During today’s roundtable, Minister Fortier, who was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, listened as Black business owners shared their priorities for Budget 2021 and how the Government of Canada can create good jobs that will support their community through the pandemic and into a strong recovery.
The Government of Canada’s growth plan will take into account these discussions as part of the pre-budget consultations to make smart, targeted investments to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery when COVID-19 is under control, and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.
These investments will build on the government’s previous commitments to fight systemic racism and build strong communities, including measures like the recently announced Black Entrepreneurship Program and a procurement pilot program for Black Canadian owned or led small businesses, which will help thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs recover from this crisis and grow their businesses.
All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at LetsTalkBudget2021.ca, which will be available until February 19, 2021.
“The events of the past year have called attention to the lived realities of racism experienced daily by Black Canadians and other racialized communities. Today was an opportunity for our government to engage with and listen to the unique perspectives and experiences of Black business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators, and leaders in the Black community. By working together, we are shaping the investments that will make up Budget 2021 and help us to build back an economy that creates jobs for the middle class and is inclusive, more equitable, and more sustainable than ever.”
- The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
“This pandemic has been particularly challenging for Canada’s Black business owners. That’s why our government moved swiftly to support this community when we launched Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program – however, we know there is more that can be done. The conversation and ideas we discussed today will help inform Budget 2021, which aims to build a Canadian economy that is more inclusive and diverse.”
- Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government
On September 9, 2020, the government in partnership with Canadian financial institutions announced an investment of up to $221 million – including up to $93 million from the Government of Canada over the next four years – to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. This will help to ensure equitable access to support and opportunities for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.
Through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada reiterated its commitment to fight racism in all its forms through clear and meaningful investments in a number of key areas:
- economic opportunity;
- representation at the highest levels of and throughout the public service;
- diversity in corporate Canada, modernization of equity legislation to be truly inclusive;
- community empowerment; and
- action to address systemic racism in the justice system.
Following a commitment in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the government has launched a procurement pilot program to open bidding opportunities for Black owned/operated businesses to support opportunity and economic growth for Black Canadians.
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, between up to $70 and $100 billion, over three years, to jumpstart our recovery.
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.
Media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
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