Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to Highlight the Expansion of the Canada Workers Benefit


June 30, 2021 -  Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

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Good morning everyone.

Late last night Bill C-30, the legislation that enacts many important measures in our recent budget, was adopted by the Senate and received Royal Assent.

This is a hugely important step forward for the country, for our economic recovery, and for Canadian workers. I’d like to thank all Senators for their hard work and for their support.

Our recovery plan is about finishing the fight against COVID-19 and healing the wounds of the COVID recession. It is a plan to ensure a full, fast, and fair recovery. And it is a plan for jobs and economic growth.

Low-income workers are among those Canadians who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Many are essential frontline workers. Many faced layoffs, greatly reduced hours, or significant infection risks at work. Many of them are racialized or new Canadians. And too often, these hardworking Canadians live below the poverty line—including full-time workers earning a minimum wage.

No one working full-time in our country should live in poverty.

So, I am very pleased to announce today an historic expansion of the Canada Workers Benefit. We are expanding the Canada Workers Benefit to help one million hard-working, low-income Canadians who did not previously qualify for this support.

This move will put real money—up to $1,400 for single workers and $2,400 for families—into the pockets of nearly one million more working Canadians.

We are doing this by raising the threshold for eligibility. If you are a single Canadian worker earning up to $32,244, a single-earner family earning up to $42,197, or a dual-earner family earning up to $56,197, you will now receive this support through your tax refund.

We’re also raising the income threshold for eligibility for the maximum benefit. This means that more hardworking Canadians will get the maximum support from this benefit.

This is support that will have real, tangible benefits for workers across the country. A total of 3.2 million Canadians will now be eligible for the Canada Workers Benefit. And this expansion will help lift 100,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Our government knows that the inclusive recovery of our country must also be a feminist one.

Too often, benefits based on family income-based discourage secondary earners in households from returning to work. And most of the time, it’s the woman who is the secondary earner in a family. It is imperative that these skilled workers participate in creating a strong workforce and a robust economic recovery for everyone.

So, to break down another barrier to women’s workforce participation, our changes will now allow secondary earners to exclude up to $14,000 of their working income when calculating the support they can receive under the Canada Workers Benefit. That means the first 14,000 a second income earner brings home will not reduce her family’s eligibility for the Canada Workers Benefit.

This will make more families eligible for this support, and ensure women are a central part of Canada’s strong and long-lasting economic recovery.

Low-income workers have done so much of the essential work we all relied on to get through this pandemic. They are the cleaners, the store clerks, the delivery workers, the personal care providers, who have allowed us all to keep going and stay safe, during the pandemic.

They deserve a fair minimum wage. The adoption of the budget also ensures that we will have a new federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, which will increase with inflation.

As our economy recovers, we are putting measures in place to ensure that all Canadian workers can contribute to our country’s recovery and build a fairer, more resilient and more inclusive economy.

Thank you very much.


Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

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Phone: 1-833-712-2292
TTY: 613-369-323

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