Minister Fortier meets with Prime Minister’s Youth Council as part of Budget 2021 consultations

News release

February 17, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

The government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery to ensure that COVID-19 does not derail the futures of young Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, met virtually with the Prime Minister’s Youth Council to hear their ideas about how Budget 2021 can support young people through the pandemic while building a greener, more competitive, inclusive, and resilient economy that leaves no one behind.

This pandemic has exposed critical gaps in Canada’s social safety net and the virus has hit certain sectors and groups harder than others. Young people continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as employment losses are highest in accommodation and food services industries, which disproportionately employ young people, as well as women and new Canadians.

The Government of Canada remains committed to doing whatever it takes to support youth and students, including through the proposed elimination of the interest on repayments of the federal portion of the Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans for 2021-22 and investing $575.3 million over two years for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) to provide job placements for young people. Making sure young people can turn their hard-earned knowledge and skills into secure, well-paying jobs is important for their success, and important for Canada’s future prosperity.

During today’s roundtable, Minister Fortier listened as members of the Youth Council highlighted issues that matter the most to young Canadians. The Council shared their priorities for Budget 2021 and how the government can help create good jobs and opportunities for youth once COVID-19 is under control.

Budget 2021 will be among the most significant in Canadian history and the Government of Canada’s growth plan will take into account these important discussions as it positions the country for an economic rebound that improves the lives of every single person in Canada.

All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at, which will be available until February 19, 2021.


“It was a pleasure to meet with the young people from across Canada who comprise the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, to listen to their ideas and priorities for Budget 2021. These discussions and the choices that we make today will shape Canada’s future for years to come, so ensuring that the voices of Canada’s young people are heard is crucial as we position the country to build back better.”

The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

“COVID-19 has affected all Canadians and disproportionately certain segments, including young people. As the Minister of Youth and Vice-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, I am continuously inspired by the ways that youth from coast to coast to coast have stepped up, including to support their communities and take a stand on issues such as social justice and climate change. Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they are also the leaders of today and our government recognizes that their input is instrumental to our building back an even better and a consciously more inclusive Canada.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Vice-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • To help post-secondary students from across Canada weather the economic impact of the global pandemic, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit provided more than 708,000 students who were unable to find a job this summer with $2.94 billion in income support.

  • Through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the government announced proposed investments to help create opportunities for youth, including:

    • eliminating the interest on repayment of the federal portion of the Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans for 2021-22 to bring $329.4 million in relief to up to 1.4 million Canadians who are looking for work or otherwise in the early stages of their careers;
    • $447.5 million in 2021-22 to increase the number of job placements supported through Canada Summer Jobs to approximately 120,000 for 2021-22 – an increase of 40,000 from 2020-21 levels; and
    • $575.3 million over the next 2 years for YESS to provide approximately 45,300 job placements for young people.
  • 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.

  • The Prime Minister's Youth Council is a group of young Canadians who provide non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada on issues of importance to them and to all Canadians. The members meet several times a year to discuss issues that matter to their peers, their community and their country. They also engage with local and national organizations, meet with policy-makers and decision-makers, and attend virtual events.

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Media may contact:

Isabella Brisson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230
For pre-budget consultations:

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