HUMA committee binder: Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion - November 4, 2020

Official title: Appearance of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion - Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) November 4, 2020

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1. Opening remarks

Official title: Speaking Notes for the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion - Appearance before the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) - Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates B 2020-2021, House of Commons November 4, 2020

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(2020 PASRB 001073)

Mr. Chair and Committee members, thank you for inviting me to join you today.

In February of 2020, I was preparing to come before this Committee to discuss the Main Estimates and my Department’s priorities. That meeting never took place, and since then, so much has changed.

But our priorities – supporting Canadian workers, investing in youth and helping people overcome barriers to training and working – remain the same.

These priorities are supported by the appropriations requested in Employment and Social Development 2020 to 2021 Main Estimates, as well as the Supplementary Estimates B.

The Main Estimates for 2020 to 2021 represents a total of $68.6 billion in planned budgetary expenditures.

This represents a net increase of $3.8 billion over the 2019–20 Main Estimates of $64.8 billion.

The increase is mainly explained by an increase to Old Age Security Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, resulting from the planned increase in the average monthly benefit amount and changes in the number of beneficiaries.

Allow me to speak about the extraordinary measures we have taken to support workers, youth and persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic first shuttered our economy last spring, we moved very quickly to support Canadians.

This began with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

We created thousands of jobs and training opportunities for youth, put a moratorium on student loan repayments and provided an extra one-time payment for persons with disabilities.

We stepped up and took action to make sure that no one was left behind.

Most recently, as the CERB ended, we made changes to the EI system so that more people could access benefits, including those claiming regular or special benefits.

EI has its strengths. Some aspects of the system address the concerns that people had around CERB: Working While on Claim, access to training and work-sharing. These things all connect people to the workforce and provide incentives to work.

For those who still don’t qualify for EI, we introduced a complementary new suite of benefits – the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

The Canada Recovery Benefit – unlike the CERB – has a requirement that people must be looking for work and it has integrity measures built into the application process.

Now I’d like to draw your attention more specifically to several items in the Supplementary Estimates B.

The Government of Canada takes the health and safety of temporary foreign workers very seriously. I would like to acknowledge the Behind Closed Doors report that was published last week.

I have read it and thank the authors for their important recommendations.

I also want to acknowledge that COVID-19 has shone a light on those areas of the Program that need urgent attention. During the summer, we strengthened our policies and regulations to improve the Program.

And just last week Footnote 1, we announced the start of consultations with partners to establish minimum requirements for employer-provided accommodations across Canada.

Now a word about training.

The pandemic has transformed the job landscape in Canada.

It has accelerated shifts we knew were coming and exposed barriers that keep certain people from accessing the training they need.

If the economy is going to recover from this crisis, we need to incentivize people to work, and part of that is helping youth get the supports they need to transition into jobs in high-demand sectors.

Initiatives like the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy is a good example of this kind of support.

Mr. Chair, the appropriations requested in these Estimates would allow us to continue to support Canadians during the pandemic and beyond.

I would now be pleased to answer any questions you might have.

Thank you.

-30-

2. Issue: Overview – 2020 to 2021 Main estimates

Context

What are the financial highlights of the 2020 to 2021 Main Estimates for the Department of Employment and Social Development?

Suggested response

  • The Main Estimates for 2020 to 2021 present a total of $68.6 billion in planned budgetary expenditures for the Department of Employment and Social Development, a net increase of $3.8 billion over the 2019 to 2020 Main Estimates of $64.8 billion.
  • The increase is primarily associated with statutory items, in particular, an increase to the Old Age Security Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, explained by increases in the average monthly rates and in the increasing number of beneficiaries.

Key facts

Table 1: Key facts
Item 2018 to 2019 Expenditures (in millions of dollars) 2019 to 2020 Main estimates (in millions of dollars) 2019 to 2020 Estimates to date (in millions of dollars) 2020 to 2021 Main estimates (in millions of dollars)
Operating expenditures (net) - Vote 1   768.3 702.8 759.2 803.3
Voted Grants and Contributions - Vote 5   2,432.2 2,728.8 2,819.9 3,021.4
Debt write-off - Canada Student Loans 162.2 0 180.4 0
Budget implementation votes 0 333.0 333.0 0
Total voted 3,362.7 3,764.6 - 4,092.5 - 3,824.7
Total statutory 57,839.4 61,005.0 61,246.8 64,817.0
Total budgetary 61,202.1 64,769.6 65,339.3 68,641.7
Total non-budgetary 1,286.9 1,073.7 1,188.5 1,017.5

Background

Table 2: Employment and Social Development 2020 to 2021 main estimates financial summary - Operating expenditures (net) (in millions of dollars)
Item 2018 to 2019 Expenditures 2019 to 2020 Main estimates 2019 to 2020 Estimates to date 2020 to 2021 Main estimates
Operating expenditures (net) - Vote 1 768.3 702.8 759.2 803.3
Voted Grants and Contributions - Vote 5 2,432.2 2,728.8 2,819.9 3,021.4
Debt write-off - Canada Student Loans 162.2 0 180.4 0
Budget implementation votes 0 333.0 333.0 0
Total voted 3,362.7 3,764.6 - 4,092.5 - 3,824.7
Table 3: Employment and Social Development 2020 to 2021 main estimates financial summary - Statutory payments (in millions of dollars)
Statutory payments 2018 to 2019 Expenditures 2019 to 2020 Main estimates 2019 to 2020 Estimates to date 2020 to 2021 Main estimates
Old Age Security 40,424.1 42,754.3 42,754.3 44,966.1
Guaranteed Income Supplement 12,404.7 12,895.0 12,895.0 13,921.6
Allowance 562.5 555.1 555.1 640.0
Sub-total Old Age Security program 53,391.3 56,204.4 56,204.4 59,527.7
Canada Student Loans Program and Canada Apprentice Loans (Note 1) 2,508.8 2,390.1 2,619.6 2,665.5
Canada Education Savings Grants 910.7 955.0 955.0 980.0
Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds 513.1 767.3 767.3 879.5
Employee Benefit Plans 244.4 214.7 227.0 243.1
Canada Learning Bond 166.2 185.0 185.0 194.0
Service delivery under the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA) 2.4 194.5 194.5 233.4
Wage Earner Protection Program 64.9 49.3 49.3 49.3
Federal Workers' Compensation (net) 31.6 44.0 44.0 44.0
Universal Child Care Benefit 4.6 0.3 0.3 0.1
Others 1.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Total statutory 57,839.4 61,005.0 61,246.8 64,817.0
Total budgetary 61,202.1 64,769.6 65,339.3 68,641.7
Loans under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 1,246.8 1,031.8 1,157.2 993.1
Loans under the Apprentice Loans Act 39.4 41.9 31.3 24.4
Advance issued to Provincial Workers Compensation boards under the Government Employees Compensation Act 0.7 0 0 0
Total non-budgetary 1,286.9 1,073.7 1,188.5 1,017.5

Note:

The Main Estimates do not include Specified Purpose Accounts:

  • the Employment Insurance Operating Account
  • the Canada Pension Plan
  • the Civil Insurance Fund and
  • the Government Annuities Account

Approximately $68,641.7 million in total budgetary funding is anticipated through the Main Estimates for the Department of Employment and Social Development ($3,824.7 million in voted appropriations and $64,817.0 million in statutory). This excludes funding anticipated through Budget 2020. More than 94% of planned budgetary expenditures will directly benefit Canadians through the Old Age Security Program and other statutory transfer payment programs.

Overall, the Department of Employment and Social Development's total budgetary authorities for 2020 to 2021 have a net increase of $3,872.1 million, or approximately 6.0%, from the previous year's total Main Estimates of $64,769.6 million.

This increase in funding is primarily attributable to statutory items:

  • an increase of $3,323.3 million to the Old Age Security Pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and to Allowances, explained by expected increases to the average monthly rate and changes in the number of beneficiaries
  • an increase of $275.4 million to the Canada Student Loans Program and Canada Apprentice Loans, mostly due to increased grant amounts for low-income, middle income and part-time students provided through the Canada Student Grants
  • an increase of $112.2 million to Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds, which is due to a steady increase in total registered Canada Disability Savings Plans and participation in the program
  • an increase of $38.9 million related to the delivery of programs and services to the public on behalf of partners, which are to be recovered
  • an increase of $34.0 million to the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond due to more people saving for the post-secondary education of their children, to more children from low-income families receiving the education savings incentives for the first time and to more children continuously receiving the Canada Learning Bond; and
  • an increase of $28.2 million for other items

In addition, voted grants and contributions (Vote 5) are expected to reach $3,021.4 million in 2020 to 2021, an increase of $292.6 million from the 2019 to 2020 Main Estimates, mainly attributable to investments announced in Budget 2018 and Budget 2019 to the Student Work Placement Program, the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Transformation Initiative, the Workforce Development Agreements and the Canada Service Corps.

The Department plans to spend $803.3 million in 2020 to 2021 in operating expenditures (Vote 1), representing a net increase of $100.5 million from the 2019–20 Main Estimates of $702.8 million. The net increase is related to additional funding including for the Old Age Security Service Improvement Strategy and workload, Temporary Foreign Worker Program including the Global Talent stream, Canada Service Corps and the modernization of federal labour standards.

It is to be noted the increase in total budgetary expenditures is offset by a decrease of $333.0 million related to measures announced in Budget 2019 (Votes 10 to 85).

Regarding non-budgetary loans, there is a net decrease in authorities of $56.2 million from the 2019 to 2020 Main Estimates, mainly as a result of a Budget 2019 measure which provides an interest-free 6 month non repayment period after a student loan borrower leaves school.

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, Chief Financial Officer Branch

Phone number: (819) 654-6402

Key contact

Name: Jason Won

Title: Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Chief Financial Officer Branch

Phone number: (819) 654-6583

Approved by

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer

Phone number: (819) 654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: February 19, 2020

3. Overview —Supplementary Estimates (B)

Issue

Why does Employment and Social Development (ESDC) require additional authorities in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2021?

Response

  • Supplementary Estimates seek parliamentary approval for changes to departmental spending plans for the current fiscal year, including items that were unforeseen at the time the Main Estimates were prepared.
  • ESDC is requesting adjustments for:

A. Voted appropriations

  1. Funding for retroactive compensation (reprofile) – $23.5 million
  2. Funding for personal support worker training and measures to address labour shortages in long-term and home care (COVID-19) – $15 million
  3. Funding to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms (COVID-19) – $6.9 million
  4. Funding for Investing in Early Learning and Child Care (reprofile) – $1.8 million
  5. Funding for Benefits Delivery Modernization (reprofile) – $1.3 million
  6. Funding related to government advertising programs (horizontal item) – $1.2 million
  7. Funding to support business resumption for federally regulated employers (COVID-19) (horizontal item) – $0.4 million; and
  8. Funding for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy (reprofile) – $0.4 million

B. Transfers

  1. Transfer From the Department of Indigenous Services and Public Health Agency of Canada to the Department of Employment and Social Development for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Transformation Initiative – $6.4 million
  2. Transfer from Privy Council Office to Employment and Social Development for COVID-19 Communications Strategy funding related to Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign – $0.9 million
  3. Transfer from the Department of Indigenous Services to the Department of Employment and Social Development for the Kativik Regional Government to streamline delivery of youth programming – $0.5 million
  4. Internal reallocation of resources from Vote 5 Contributions ($600,000) to Vote 1 Operating expenditures for the National Campaign of Youth Employment and Skills Strategy; and
  5. Transfer to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support the knowledge transfer and mobilization purposes of the Healthy and Productive Work research initiative – $(14,902)

C. Statutory budgetary authorities

  1. Payments pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA) – $29.1 billion
  2. Adjustment to Canada Student Loans Programs – $1,355.0 million
  3. Payment to support Persons with Disabilities one-time payment under An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures – $848.6 million; and
  4. Adjustment to Contributions to employee benefit plans (EBP) – $1.4 million

D. Statutory non-budgetary items

  1. Loans disbursed under Canada Student Financial Assistance Act – $9 billion
  2. Loans disbursed under the Apprentice Loan Act – $(0) million

Background

  1. Voted appropriation

1. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $23.5 million in funding for retroactive compensation in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Through Budget 2019, ESDC received funds to enable the Department to meet obligations from a longstanding grievance concerning the Program and Service Delivery Clerk job description, which resulted in a reclassification. However, given the significant work entailed by the case-by-case review, some of the retroactive payments will be completed in 2020 to 2021

ESDC is requesting authority to include $23,454,022 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

2. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $12.5 million for personal support worker training and measures to address labour shortages in long-term and home care (COVID-19) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the acute need for additional workers in long-term care facilities, home care and assisted living services. It has also exacerbated workforce challenges in the supportive care sector, especially in long-term care facilities, which experienced the tragic impacts of COVID-19.

ESDC has requested funding to provide surge capacity in supportive care by recruiting up to 4,000 new Personal Support Worker interns through an accelerated online training and work placement project. Post-surge, new interns will be encouraged to pursue long-term careers in supportive care, and to seek full certification at educational institutions that will recognize their accelerated training and work experience. This investment will further support improvements to the quality and consistency of training for these workers across the country.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $973,190 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures, excluding employee benefit plan (EBP) costs of $176,810) and $11,500,000 in Vote 5 (Contributions) for Personal Support Worker Training and Measures to Address Labour Shortages in Long-Term and Home Care as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B). This is planned spending after the December 31st repeal date of the Public Events of National Concern Payments Act.

3. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $6.9 million related to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms (COVID-19) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Since the very beginning of this pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a number of important steps to ensure the safe arrival of farm workers, who play a vital role in preserving Canada’s food security. To protect the health and safety of Canadian and migrant farm workers, the Government has been working with municipal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as farmers, support groups, workers and other employers who participate in the TFW Program.

Despite these efforts, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks on a number of Canadian farms that have significantly impacted the health and safety of workers. This is why on July 31, 2020 the Government announced action to strengthen the TFW Program and make further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $6,934,442 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures, excluding employee benefit plan (EBP) costs of $1,186,801) to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B). This is planned spending after the December 31st repeal date of the Public Events of National Concern Payments Act.

4. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1.8 million related for Investing in Early Learning and Child Care in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

To help Canadian children get the best start in life and better Canadian families, Budgets 2016 and 2017 announced an investment of $7.5 billion over 11 years in Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) of which $100 million over 10 years is dedicated to innovation.

While 26 projects were funded from the 2018 Call for Concepts, delays in the project implementation resulted in an inability to fully use the approved funding for 2019 to 2020. Implementation delays resulted in ESDC being unable to allocate all funds in 2019 to 2020 and is requesting to have $1.8M available in 2020 to 2021. These funds will be used to maximize innovation practices to increase high-quality, accessible, affordable, and inclusive early learning and child care across Canada.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $1,780,515 in Vote 5 (Contributions) for Investing in Early Learning and Child Care as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

5. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1.3 million related to the Benefits Delivery Modernization in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

The Benefits Delivery Modernization programme (BDM) will ensure ESDC can continue to reliably and accurately provide Canadians with Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits. The BDM program is modernizing IT systems to enable service improvements which will expand self-service options, reduce wait times, streamline application processes and enable resolution at first point of contact. This funding will continue to advance critical work required to progress the BDM Program Definition Phase.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $1,292,875 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) for the Benefits Delivery Modernization as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

6. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1.2 million related to government advertising programs (horizontal item) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

This funding will support two advertising campaigns, for Services for Seniors $1.0 million and Inclusive Workplaces $0.2 million.

The Services for Seniors campaign is a continuation of the 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 Services for Seniors advertising campaigns. The first two waves of the Services for Seniors campaign were very successful, however, the second wave was cut short as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore a third wave of the campaign is proposed to raise awareness of Government of Canada programs and services that either directly or indirectly benefit seniors. In addition, the Inclusive Workplaces campaign builds on the initial success and lessons learned from the pilot campaign to support accessibility in the workplace for people with disabilities.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $1,200,000 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) to government advertising programs (horizontal item) as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

7. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.4 million related to support business resumption for federally regulated employers (COVID-19) (horizontal item) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

COVID-19 has created challenges on many fronts for workers and employers in Canada. Effective business resumption requires focused occupational health and safety (OHS) support for federally regulated entities, including an increased emphasis on workplace prevention measures. Additional support and guidance for employers and workplaces to protect the health and safety of workers during the pandemic will benefit both employers and about 1.2 million employees in the federal jurisdiction, in addition to reaching a broader workforce in provinces and territories. The Labour Program will increase proactive Occupational Health and Safety activities, outreach and guidance, as well as technical expertise to adequately support business resumption in the federally regulated sector.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $446,688 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures, excluding employee benefit plan (EBP) costs of $77,188) to support business resumption for federally regulated employers (COVID-19) (horizontal item) as part of the Supplementary Estimates (B) 2020 to 2021.

8. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.4 million related for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategyin the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

ESDC is requested that a total of $382,938 from 2019 to 2020 be reprofiled. This funding is for the regionally-delivered streams be reprofiled to 2020 to 2021. Communities and regions will use these funds to support local homelessness projects and priorities, including sustaining and expanding local responses to COVID-19.

Given the current context of COVID-19, the Department will need to re-engage with Indigenous partners to determine their current priorities and project capacity. Reprofiling funds across years three, four and five of Reaching Home will ensure there is sufficient time to support these discussions. This approach will also enable the Department to sequence its remaining negotiations with Indigenous partners and achieve full expenditure. Relationships that were developed in 2019 to 2020 will be leveraged to effectively support the expenditure of funds.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $382,938 in Vote 5 (Contributions) for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

B. Transfers

1. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $6.4 million for a Transfer from the Department of Indigenous Services and Public Health Agency of Canada to the Department of Employment and Social Development for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Transformation Initiative in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Transformation Initiative is a horizontal initiative across multiple federal departments. New flexible programming authorities enable Indigenous-led investments in a broad range of ELCC priorities for all Indigenous children and families no matter where they live in Canada. The Initiative is using a new partnership model to facilitate Indigenous-led decision making to advance national and regional priorities. This funding is being advanced to communities through a range of funding agreements available at ESDC, Indigenous Services Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $6,394,819 in Vote 5 (Contributions) for Transfer from the Department of Indigenous Services and Public Health Agency of Canada to the Department of Employment and Social Development for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Transformation Initiative as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

2. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.9 million for a Transfer from Privy Council Office to Employment and Social Development for COVID-19 Communications Strategy funding related to Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

The transfer of $900,000 from Privy Council Office COVID-19 Communications Strategy fund will be used to implement Employment and Social Development's Essential Services Jobs / Job Bank advertising campaign. The campaign will target both employers and job-seeking Canadians, informing of opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank is a key tool in the reopening of the economy and also supports the CERB and CESB benefits.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $900,000 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) for COVID-19 Communications Strategy funding related to Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

3. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.5 million for a Transfer from the Department of Indigenous Services to the Department of Employment and Social Development for the Kativik Regional Government to streamline delivery of youth programming in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

This transfer to the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), has occurred annually since 2005 through an Interdepartmental Letter of Agreement (ILA). This flow through consolidates funding, allowing for a reduction in administrative burden on KRG, especially in reporting, and allows for more streamlined service delivery to youth in Nunavik. This ensures that youth in 14 communities continue to gain the skills and work experience needed to make a successful transition into the labour market.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $497,000 in Vote 5 (Contributions) for the Kativik Regional Government to streamline delivery of youth programming as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

4. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.6 million for an internal reallocation of resources from Vote 5 Contributions ($600,000) to Vote 1 Operating expenditures for the National Campaign of Youth Employment and Skills Strategy in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

In Budget 2019, the Government committed to creating a National campaign to promote the skilled trades as first-choice careers to youth. The internal reallocation of funding from Contributions to Operating expenditure votes sought in Supplementary Estimates B will enable Employment and Social Development Canada to lead the Campaign design and delivery. The transfer of funding from Vote 5 Grants and Contributions to Vote 1 Operating will facilitate a department-led approach, rather than the originally envisioned third-party-led approach.

ESDC is requesting authority to include an Internal Transfers from Vote 5 ($600,000) (Contributions) to Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) for the National Campaign of Youth Employment and Skills Strategy as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

5. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.01 million for a Transfer to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support the knowledge transfer and mobilization purposes of the Healthy and Productive Work research initiative in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Transfer from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support the knowledge transfer and mobilization purposes of the Healthy and Productive Work research initiative.

ESDC is requesting authority to include $14,602 in Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) to support the knowledge transfer and mobilization purposes of the Healthy and Productive Work research initiative as part of the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

C. Statutory Budgetary authorities

1. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting an adjustment of $29.1 billion in funding to the statutory item related to Payments pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA)

There are 10 measures under the PHENCPA listed on page 2 to 4 of ESDC’s Supplementary Estimates B. 7 are new and were not included in Supplementary Estimates A. The remaining 3, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Students and Youth, and the Canada Student Service Grant, were initially presented in Supplementary Estimates A and now have amended spending estimates. All statutory estimates for Covid-19 response measures reflect the funding decisions communicated by the President of the Treasury Board.

1.1 - Payments for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act – $28.5 billion

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working related to COVID-19. The Benefit provides $500 per week, and is delivered through both Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), but is fully charged to ESDC.

1.2 Support for provincial and territorial job training efforts (Labour Market Transfer Agreements) – $1.5 billion

ESDC will provide additional funding to provinces and territories in 2020-2021 through the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs). The additional funding will provide timely support so provinces and territories can respond to the unprecedented increase in unemployed Canadians seeking skills training and employment supports. Provinces and territories can draw on their existing service delivery infrastructure to reach the broadest range of Canadians in the fastest manner possible.

1.3 Students and youth impacted by COVID-19 – $(269.2) million

The estimate provided in Supplementary Estimates A for Students and Youth respresented the planned spending on this measure by all government departments. Supplementary Estimates B refines this estimate to remove other government departments and present only ESDC’s estimated spending.

This item is a combination of initiatives:

a) Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Funding for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market. ESDC to fund national projects providing youth placements in environmental, transport, agricultural, food security, and community service sectors.

b) Canada Summer Jobs

With this funding, the Canada Summer Jobs program to create 10,000 more placements for youth in critical services, bringing the total from 70,000 to 80,000 jobs. In response to COVID-19, temporary changes were also announced to the Canada Summer Jobs program to provide additional flexibilities that allow employers to continue to hire youth. These changes include: allowing all employers to receive 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum wage; allowing part-time work; and, allowing for job placements to be offered beyond the summer months.

c) Student Work Placement Program

In response to the economic impacts created by the pandemic and the resulting pressures on students and employers, the Government made additional investments in the Student Work Placement program and introduced new program flexibilities to help post-secondary students access paid work-integrated learning opportunities. This new investment will help support the creation of up to 40,000 paid work placements.

d) Supports for Student Learning Program

Funding for the Supports for Student Learning Program to help organizations that have established and trusted relationships with vulnerable children and youth, migrate their wraparound supports online. This funding will serve approximately 14,700 youth through support to complete high school and transition to post-secondary education in order to help ensure that vulnerable children and youth do not become further marginalized as a result of COVID-19.

e) Canada Service Corps – Microgrants

As part of the Canada Service Corps (CSC), micro-grant funding for youth-led projects has demonstrated great success in reaching their targets and engaging under-represented youth. ESDC was negotiating a COVID specific contribution agreement to deliver on the commitment to expand the number of available micro grants from 1,800 to 15,000. In August 2020 it was determined that the project was no longer feasible due to the short timelines in which to disburse the micro-grants to align with youth availabilities outside the school year. Given the delays in launching the micro-grant expansion CSC will not be spending the PHENCPA funding received.

1.4 Payments to support Canadians experiencing homelessness – $236.7 million

Individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness are at heightened risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions, increased transience, and reduced opportunities to self-isolate.

As part of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government has identified an additional $236.7 million for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. This builds on the $157.5 million in additional funding previously secured under the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act.

1.5 A safe restart in Indigenous communities – $63.9 million

This funding is to ensure the continued availability of Indigenous ELCC spaces and to offset increased costs to Indigenous ELCC centres associated with implementing COVID-19 public health measures (for example enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols and lower child to staff ratios). Up to 35,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children who participate in IELCC programming are expected to benefit.

1.6 To address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms – $15.5 million

To protect the health and safety of Canadian and migrant farm workers, the Government has been working with municipal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as farmers, support groups, workers and other employers who participate in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. Despite these efforts, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks on a number of Canadian farms that have significantly impacted the health and safety of workers. This is why on July 31, 2020 the Government announced action to strengthen the TFW Program and make further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19.

With the voted funding under Vote 1, the total funding in Supplementary Estimates B for this initiative is $23.6M.

1.7 To support persons with disabilities (National Workplace Accessibility) – $15.0 million

The Government of Canada recognizes that persons with disabilities are significantly and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To support the skills training and employment of persons with disabilities in response to COVID-19, on June 5, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a $15 million investment in 2020-2021 to create a new National Workplace Accessibility Stream under the Opportunities Fund. This new funding will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility, increase job opportunities for persons with disabilities and expand accessible online training opportunities.

1.8 Personal support worker training and measures to address labour shortages in long-term and home care – $12.7 million

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the acute need for additional workers in long-term care facilities, home care and assisted living services. It has also exacerbated workforce challenges in the supportive care sector, especially in long-term care facilities, which experienced the tragic impacts of COVID-19. This funding will provide surge capacity in supportive care by recruiting up to 4,000 new Personal Support Worker interns through an accelerated online training and work placement project. This investment will further support improvements to the quality and consistency of training for these workers across the country.

With the voted funding under Vote 1 and Vote 5, the total funding in Supplementary Estimates B for this initiative is $25.3M.

1.9 Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Labour Market Impact Assessment Refunds) – $4.0 billion

The Government of Canada recognizes that COVID-19 has negatively affected many businesses and there are many Canadians looking for work. Employment and Social Development Canada is helping eligible employers who no longer wish to proceed with their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application due to the impact of COVID19 to seek a refund of the fee paid. Employers requesting a refund will receive the full amount of the $1,000 LMIA processing fee per position, provided no work permit has been issued for that position and no work permit application is being processed. Negative Labour Market Impact Assessments are not eligible for a refund.

1.10. Canada Student Service Grant – $(912.0) million

The Government of Canada allocated up to $912 million for the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) to implement and deliver the program through the establishment of a Contribution Agreement with a total value of up to $543.5 million, with additional funding upon necessity. The CSSG was launched on June 25, 2020, to provide support to students and recent graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 3, 2020, the Government of Canada and the WE Charity Foundation announced that the CSSG Contribution Agreement would be terminated. Given the cancellation of the CSSG and the return of funds allocated to the WE Charity Foundation, the planned spending for this measure is being revised to zero through Supplementary Estimates B.

2. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1,347.7 million for adjustments to Canada Student Loans Programs in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

2.1 Canada Student Grants – $1.6 billion

The increase of $1,550,605,168 related to the Canada Student Grants is to take into consideration the temporary COVID measure doubling the grant amounts for loan year 2020 to 2021. The new projection is in line with the latest actuarial report.

2.2 Interest and other Liabilities under the CSFA Act (Risk Shared Loans) – $5.2 million

The increase of $5,169,172 is due to the COVID Six Month Moratorium on CSL repayment. Since this measure applies to all CSLs, including risk-shared loans, Financial Institutions will invoice the Program for their loss of revenue.

2.3 Liabilities under the CSL Act (Guaranteed Loans) – $0.2 million

The increase of $202,073 is due to the COVID 6 Month Moratorium on CSL repayment. Since this measure applies to all CSLs, including guaranteed loans, Financial Institutions will invoice the Program for their loss of revenue.

2.4 Interest payments under the CSL Act (Guaranteed Loans) – $0.1 million

The increase of $64,083 is due to a change within the Financial Institutions billing.

2.5 Payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Apprentice Loan Act – $(1.0) million

The decrease of $992,946 is mainly due the special payment to Quebec has been adjusted to take into consideration the significant reduction in the Government’s cost of borrowing (~$3M reduction) and to take into consideration the Six Month Moratorium on CSLP repayments. The Repayment Assistance Program was put on hold since students don’t have to make principal and interest payment for a period of six months (between March 30th, 2020 and September 30th, 2020).

2.6 Payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act – $(207.3) million

The decrease of $207,298,350 is to take into consideration the temporary COVID measure for the six month Moratorium on CSL repayment. The Repayment Assistance Program was put on hold since students don’t have to make principal and interest payment for a period of six months (between March 30th, 2020 and September 30th, 2020).

3. Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting an adjustment of $1.4 million in funding to the statutory item "Contributions to employee benefit plans" in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

An adjustment of $1,440,799 to EBP costs related to three items requested in these Supplementary Estimates is being included in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B). The three items are:

  • Funding to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms ($1,186,801);
  • Funding for Training for Personal Support Worker Interns and Other Measures to Address Labour Shortages in Long-Term and Home Care ($176,810);
  • Funding to support in Business Resumption (COVID-19) for federal jurisdiction employers ($77,188).

D. Statutory non Budgetary items

1. Why is there a net increase of $1,229.6 million from the Main Estimates amount of $993.1 million to loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B)?

The increased of $1,229,623,757 is due to the forecasted repayments for the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year have been decreased to take into consideration the temporary six-month moratorium on CSL repayments. The decrease takes into consideration 6 months of non-repayment, excluding expected voluntary repayments during this period.

2. Why is there a decrease of $2.0 million for loans disbursed under the Apprentice Loans Act in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B)?

The projection for disbursements has been decreased to reflect COVID impacts. Canada Apprentice Loan recipients receive loans per period of technical training. Since educational institutions were closed at the beginning of the fiscal year due to the pandemic, there has been a decrease in loans disbursed.

The reduction in repayment is to account for the 6-month moratorium on Canada Apprentice Loan repayments due to COVID, excluding expected voluntary repayments during this period.

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Jason Won

Title: Deputy Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 613-295-2555

Approved by

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

4. Description and costing of ESDC measures with mains and Supps B identified items

Measure

Waive the one - week waiting period for EI sickness: for workers in quarantine.

This measure came into force on March 15, 2020 and was overtaken by the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • CERB provisions came into force retroactively as of March 15, 2020.
  • New claims for EI sickness benefits with an effective date on or after March 15, 2020 are processed for the CERB that has no waiting period.

Claimants are benefitting from the CERB rather than the waiver of the waiting period at the moment.

Target population

EI-eligible individuals who become ill with COVID-19

Accessible to all

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$5M

EI measures are not in the Estimates

Measure

Work-Sharing Program: extending eligibility from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19 and other measures including:

  • The mandatory waiting period (up to 38 weeks) between agreements was waived for eligible employers.
  • The previous requirements for a recovery plan was reduced to a single line of text in the application form.
  • Employers who have been in business for 1 year (rather than 2) are now deemed eligible to apply to the program.
  • Eligibility was expanded to Government Business Enterprises, public corporations (such asTransit Authorities/Universities) and not-for-profit organization employers.
  • An enquiry unit (email) for clients affected by COVID-19 was created, providing responses to employer enquiries within 24 hours

This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Since the special measures were introduced, over 3,525 Work-Sharing agreements have been approved representing over 108,769 workers now supported by this benefit. The cost of these agreements is over $1.3 Billion.

Target population

Businesses and workers

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$12M

EI measures are not in the Estimates

Measure

Waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness, family caregiving and compassionate care benefits: those who are applying for EI regular or sickness benefits, a medical certificate is no longer required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020 or later.

This was put in place to reduce the burden on the healthcare system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. New claimants for family caregiving and compassionate care benefits are relieved from the requirement to provide a medical certificate. Data is not available on the take-up of this measure.

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Accessible to all

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

EI measures are not in the Estimates

Measure

Changes to EI for self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons: We will allow EI fishing benefits for self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to be calculated using either their actual fishing earnings for their current claim, or their fishing earnings from their claim for the same season from the previous year, whichever is higher.

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

EI measures are not in the Estimates

Measure

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Ended

We provided a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 28 weeks to eligible workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19.

We are continuing to accept and process retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.

If you continue to need financial support, find out if you are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)

Target population

All Canadians

Accessible to all

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$88.5B

Adjustment to CERB Statutory Forecast $28.5B

Total Statutory Forecast $88.5B

Measure

Employment Insurance (EI) program

We made temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians looking for work.

As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

  • Were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks.
  • Received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended.
  • Stopped working through no fault of your own.
  • Have not quit your job voluntarily.
  • Are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits).
  • Are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits).

If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

If you are not eligible for EI, you may be eligible for the new benefits:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

EI Measures are not in the Estimates

Measure

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

[redacted]

Measure

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  • are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  • have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

[redacted]

Measure

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:

  • unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
  • because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19

Target population

EI-eligible individuals

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

[redacted]

Measure

Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program:

Key actions taken:

  • Exempted TFWs from entry restrictions into Canada (March 26)
  • Implemented flexibilities to enable timely access to foreign workers (March 26)
  • Developed and communicated new requirements for employers to safeguard the health of Canadians and foreign workers (April 3)
  • Announced $50 million to offset costs of new requirements on employers related to COVID-19 in key sectors (April 13)
  • Implemented regulatory amendments and launched inspections of employers on new requirements related to COVID-19 (April 20 and 24, respectively)
  • The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) provides support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory isolation
  • Strengthened assessment criteria for all new and existing applications under review to help ensure Canadians have the first opportunity for available jobs
  • Agriculture and Agri-food Canada launched “Step up to the Plate – Help Feed Canadians” initiative to encourage careers in the agri-food sector, and help match Canadians with jobs (April 21)
  • Service Canada inspectors have begun collaborative assessments with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, and local health units to assess the living and working conditions on some farms where outbreaks have occurred (June 24)
  • Established a Mexico-Canada Contact Group to collaboratively and effectively respond to COVID-19 outbreaks (June 25)

These measures ensure Canadians have first available opportunity at jobs and that Service Canada is currently prioritizing occupations that directly support and ensure the safety of the Canadian food supply chain.

Target population

Current TFW eligible businesses

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

N/A

Measure

Protecting the health and safety of farm workers

We are providing $35 million through the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. The funding will provide support to farmers for:

  • Direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19

Target population

Temporary Foreign Workers

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$23.6M

TFW on Farms Statutory Forecast $15.5M

Vote 1 $6.9M

EBP $1.2M

Total $23.6M

Measure

Double the Canada Student Grants: to up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21.The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependants will also be doubled.

No student or spousal contribution expected in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.

Increase the maximum weekly amount of Canada Student Loans from $210 to $350 for the 2020-21 school year.

Taken together, these measures are expected to benefit more than 760,000 students in loan year 2020-21 at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.

Target population

Students from low- and middle-income households, students with permanent disabilities and students with dependants.

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$1.9B

Included as part of the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) Statutory Forecasts

Measure

Creating new jobs and opportunities for youth

We are creating up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months.

  • Canada Summer Jobs program (Calls for applications closed)
  • Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible, holistic services to support all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition in the labour market. The call for applications for the 2020 season is now closed
  • The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) builds on programming delivered under the previous Youth Employment Strategy. This modernized strategy, which is delivered by 11 departments and agencies across the Government of Canada, aims to provide more flexible employment services and enhanced supports to support all young Canadians. The strategy aims to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market. The call for proposals is currently closed
  • The Student Work Placement Program gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study
  • ESDC works with Employer Delivery Partners, who work with businesses and post-secondary education institutions to provide wage subsidies to employers that offer quality student work placements; and create partnerships with colleges, universities, polytechnics and CEGEPs to recruit students for these placements.

Target population

Students and youth

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$459M

Adjustment to Students and Youth Statutory Forecast ($269M)

Total Statutory Forecast $459M

Measure

Changes to the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy's Canada Summer Jobs program: changes include increased wage subsidies, expanded eligibility and new flexibilities for employers, to ensure it can continue to support up to 70,000 student job placements in 2020-21. These new measures are being supported by a reallocation of existing resources.

On June 25, an additional $61.7M in funding was announced for CSJ 2020 to support the creation of 10,000 additional jobs, expanding the CSJ 2020 work placement target from 70,000 to 80,000 jobs.

We also made temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:

  • receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • adapt their projects and job activities;
  • hire staff on a part-time basis.

Target population

Youth

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$61.7M (included in the $459M above)

Included in the item above

Measure

Extension of lay-off periods: We have extended time periods for temporary layoffs by up to six months in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. The temporary changes will help protect the jobs of federally regulated private-sector employees and support employers facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Target population

All Canadians

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

N/A

Measure

Delivering Essential Services to those in need:

Investment of $350 million to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need.

Target population

Vulnerable Canadians

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$350M

Emergency Community Support Fund Statutory Forecast $350M

Measure

Increasing the Canada Child Benefit (CCB): $300 per child through the CCB for families currently receiving the CCB. This will mean approximately $550 on average per family.

This benefit was delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Target population

Families

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

N/A

Measure

Supporting people experiencing homelessness: support to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative.

The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.

Reaching Home provides communities with significant flexibility in how funding can be used to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. For example, communities can use Reaching Home funding to place individuals in temporary, transitional, or permanent housing accommodations for the purposes of self-isolation; purchase supplies and materials to reduce the risk of transmission, such as personal protective equipment; and, hire additional staff to support the response.

Target population

Individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$158M

Reaching Home Statutory Forecast $158M

Measure

Helping address urgent housing needs of vulnerable individuals (CMHC)

We are introducing the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by rapidly creating new affordable housing. This $1 billion initiative will cover the construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion of existing buildings to affordable housing.

It is expected to enable the rapid creation of up to 3,000 new affordable housing units across the country and will help stimulate the economy.

Target population

Vulnerable Canadians

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

N/A

Measure

Special one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment): We are providing a one-time-, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of any of the following programs or benefits:

  • holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit
  • beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020 of:
  • Canada Pension Plan Disability
  • Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension; and
  • Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada

If you are eligible but never applied for the Disability Tax Credit or your certificate expired in 2019, you must do so by September 25, 2020.

Target population

People with disabilities

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$849M

One-time payment for Persons with Disabilities Statutory Forecast $849M

Measure

One-time payment for Seniors:

Seniors who are eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities would receive a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities would be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors, including:

  • $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300; or
  • $100 for Canadians with who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time seniors payment of $500

Eligible clients will start receiving payments on October 30, 2020

Target population

Seniors

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$2.5B

Additional Support for Canadian Seniors Statutory Forecast $2.5B

Measure

Providing resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs: A new investment of $15 million in 2020-21 will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19, including by helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements. This support will also cover expanding accessible online training opportunities and helping connect Canadians with disabilities working from home with employers.

Target population

Persons with disabilities

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$15M

Payments to Support Persons with Disabilities Statutory Forecast $15M

Measure

Supporting organizations that provide essential services to seniors: We are contributing $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals' needs and connect them to community supports.

Target population

Seniors

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$9M

Not in Supplementary Estimates B.

Paid in 2019 to 2020.

Measure

New flexibilities under the New Horizons for Seniors Program: We are expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.

For all organizations who received funding under the 2019 to 2020 New Horizons for Seniors Program community-based stream, funding can be used to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19.

Target population

Seniors

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

$20M

New Horizons for Seniors Statutory Forecast $20M

Measure

Extending GIS and Allowance payments: Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been received. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. Seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.

Target population

Seniors

Funding decision / Supplementary Estimates B

N/A

5. Retroactive compensation

[Document redacted]

6. Measures for students and youth

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) estimating a reduction of $269.2 million, for Payments to support students and youth impacted by COVID-19 pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA), in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Context

  • Payments to support students and youth impacted by COVI-19 pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payment Act (PHENCPA) was first presented in 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates A with an estimate of $728M. The $728M estimate represented the planned spending on this measure for all department, not just ESDC's portion.
  • In Supplementary Estimates B, ESDC's planned spending for Students and Youth is $458.8M out of the $1B to be spent by the Government of Canada. In order to reflect the new proposed authorities of $458.8M for ESDC an adjustment of ($269.2M) is required from what was presented in Supplementary Estimates A.
  • ESDC's planned spending for Students and Youth comprises several programs: Student Work Placement Program ($266.1M); Canada Service Corps Microgrants ($74M); Canada Summer Jobs ($61.7M); Youth Employment and Skills Strategy ($40M); Supports for Students ($15M); I Want to Help Platform ($2M).

Response

  • The adjustment of ($269.2M) for Students and Youth in Supplementary Estimates B is required to reflect ESDC's portion of these initiatives. The previous estimate represented the government-wide planned spending on this Covid-19 measure.

Background

The Student and Youth measures for ESDC consist of the following programs:

Student Work Placement Program

In response to the economic impacts created by the pandemic and the resulting pressures on students and employers, the Government made additional investments in the Student Work Placement program and introduced new program flexibilities to help post-secondary students access paid work-integrated learning opportunities. This new investment will help support the creation of up to 40,000 paid work placements.

Canada Service Corps – Microgrants

As part of the Canada Service Corps (CSC), micro-grant funding for youth-led projects has demonstrated great success in reaching their targets and engaging under-represented youth. ESDC was negotiating a COVID specific contribution agreement to deliver on the commitment to expand the number of available micro grants from 1,800 to 15,000. In August 2020 it was determined that the project was no longer feasible due to the short timelines in which to disburse the micro-grants to align with youth availabilities outside the school year. Given the delays in launching the micro-grant expansion CSC will not be spending the PHENCPA funding received.

Canada Summer Jobs

With this funding, the Canada Summer Jobs program to create 10,000 more placements for youth in critical services, bringing the total from 70,000 to 80,000 jobs. In response to COVID-19, temporary changes were also announced to the Canada Summer Jobs program to provide additional flexibilities that allow employers to continue to hire youth. These changes include: allowing all employers to receive 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum wage; allowing part-time work; and, allowing for job placements to be offered beyond the summer months.

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Funding for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market. ESDC to fund national projects providing youth placements in environmental, transport, agricultural, food security, and community service sectors.

Supports for Student Learning Program

Funding for the Supports for Student Learning Program to help organizations that have established and trusted relationships with vulnerable children and youth, migrate their wraparound supports online. This funding will serve approximately 14,700 youth through support to complete high school and transition to post-secondary education in order to help ensure that vulnerable children and youth do not become further marginalized as a result of COVID-19.

I Want to Help Platform

This measure was a component of the Canada Student Services Grant program for operational activities within ESDC.

Funding (in millions of dollars)

  • Supplementary Estimates (A), 2020 to 2021: $728.0
  • Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020 to 2021: $(269.2)
  • Total Estimated Spending: $458.8

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Ritu Banerjee

Title: DG, Special Projects, Learning Branch

Phone number: 613-220-2300

Name: Catherine Demers

Title: DG, Youth and Skills Innovation, ESDC

Phone number: 613-697-7917

Approved by

Name: Ritu Banerjee

Title: DG, Special Projects, Learning Branch

Phone number: 613-220-2300

and

Name: Catherine Demers

Title: DG, Youth and Skills Innovation, ESDC-EDSC

Phone number: 613-697-7917

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819 654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

7. Persons with Disabilities Opportunities Fund (National Workforce Accessibility)

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $15 million for Support for Persons with Disabilities Opportunities Fund (National Workforce Accessibility) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

  • Persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to the labour market. According to the 2017 Canada Survey on Disability, core working age (25-64) persons with disabilities are less likely to be employed (59%) than persons without disabilities (80%)
  • Additionally, economic downturns disproportionately affect persons with disabilities as they are at a higher risk of job and income loss and experience a slower recovery compared to those without disabilities
  • A recent StatsCan survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities found that over one-third of respondents reported experiencing a temporary or permanent job loss or reduced hours during the pandemic

Response

  • The Government of Canada recognizes that persons with disabilities are significantly and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • To support the skills training and employment of persons with disabilities in response to COVID-19, on June 5, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a $15 million investment in 2020 to 2021 to create a new National Workplace Accessibility Stream under the Opportunities Fund
  • This new funding will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility, increase job opportunities for persons with disabilities and expand accessible online training opportunities
  • The funding authority for the National Workplace Accessibility Stream under the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act ends on December 31, 2020
  • ESDC is seeking Parliamentary authority of $15.0 million to continue to support projects under the National Workplace Accessibility Stream after September 30, 2020 and ensure that persons with disabilities benefit from enhanced job and training opportunities
  • To date, ESDC has entered into agreements worth $11 million with 9 organizations to deliver programming under this stream

Background

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) program provides $40 million per year to third party service providers to assist persons with disabilities (PWD) prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment, thus increasing labour market participation and independence. The program assists over 5,000 individuals each year.

The Opportunities Fund supports a wide range of programs and services, including pre-employability services, job placements and wrap-around services to help PWDs increase their labour market participation and independence.

Since 1997, the program has helped approximately 110,000 PWDs across Canada. In 2019 to 2020, 4,242 people with disabilities were served with 1,554 participants finding employment, 294 returning to school and 2,804 enhancing their employability.

On June 5, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a new investment of $15 million in 2020 to 2021 to create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream (NWAS) under the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities program (Opportunities Fund). This program is supporting community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19.

Under this stream, third-party organizations will: help employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home measures including supports and accommodations; support expanding online training opportunities for PWDs; help connect PWDs who are set up to work from home with employers; provide/extend wage subsidies to encourage the hiring of PWDs; provide training to PWDs for jobs that are currently in demand; and provide employer-focused support to create inclusive workplaces, whether virtual or physical

These employer-focused activities will help support the economic recovery by complementing the current suite of active projects, which mostly focus on participant activities such as skills training, job placements, wage subsidies and employment assistance services.

The Opportunities Fund is currently supporting 16 national projects and 72 regional projects across Canada that serve some 4,500 clients annually. Additionally, 9 new projects are being funded under the National Workplace Accessibility Stream (NWAS) in 2020 to 2021, which will serve approximately 1,220 clients and over 6,000 employers across Canada.

Key quotes

"To make it through this difficult time, we need to look out for one another. Canadians with disabilities are facing significant challenges because of COVID-19, as they work to access essential services and care, and provide for their families. In creating the National Workplace Accessibility Stream under the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities program we are helping to make sure they have the support they need to make it through this crisis."

— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

"We know this pandemic has deeply affected the lives and health of all Canadians, and disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities in particular. We have listened to the concerns of Canadians with disabilities and received advice from the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group on how to best provide support during this difficult time. I am confident that this program will greatly benefit Canadians with disabilities across the country."

— The Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

Funding (in millions of dollars)

Mains Estimates - Voted Appropriation Vote 5 Grants and contributions - Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities: $43.5M

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020 to 2021 - Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act – 2020 to 2021: $15.0M

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Eppo Maertens

Title: Director - Employment Programs and Policy Directorate

Phone number: 613-853-2781

Approved by

Name: Alan Bulley

Title: Director General, SEB

Phone number: 613-654-1655

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

8. Measures for vulnerable Canadians

Issue

What is the Government of Canada doing to address COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable Canadians?

Key facts

  • COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations less prepared to deal with the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Risks of stress, hardship and abuse rise as isolation increases and gaps emerge in the social supports on which these Canadians rely. In-person and often in-home contact as well as group activities play a key role in supporting vulnerable populations
  • Demands on community support programs are growing rapidly at a time when the number of volunteers is falling. Significant challenges are emerging as front-line staff work to adapt and deliver essential services while minimizing social contact

Response

  • One of the most important roles of our Government during this pandemic is to support vulnerable Canadians, including seniors, children and youth at risk, people with disabilities, women, people experiencing homelessness, and members of the LGBTQ2 community
  • The need to reduce social contact to limit the spread of COVID-19 has opened gaps in programs for vulnerable people. It has led to:
    • New challenges in connecting vulnerable persons such as seniors with the supplies or services they need (for example too few volunteers to deliver meals or take seniors to medical appointments)
    • Elimination of in-person, one-on-one support for vulnerable persons (for example cancellation of friendly visits to elderly people or in-home supports for isolated seniors); and
    • Cancellation of group programs (for example cancellation of day programs for seniors)

Support for Seniors in community

  • On March 29th, the Prime Minister announced $9M in funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program to the United Way Centraide Canada to work with communities in each province and territory to support isolated, vulnerable seniors cope with the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments helped to provide essential services to seniors such as the delivery of groceries and medications, meal preparation, transportation to necessary medical appointments or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports. More than 900 projects were supported through this funding
  • As well, on May 12th, the Government announced an additional investment of $20 million to the New Horizons for Seniors Program to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network. More than 1,000 projects were funded through this investment
  • In addition to the additional investments, the Government provided flexibility to organizations who received funding through the 2019 to 2020 New Horizons for Seniors Program community-based stream call for proposals. Organizations had the flexibility to use this funding to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19, rather than being limited to their original objectives. The approximately 2,800 community organizations, representing close to $50 million in funding, that were approved through this call, could use their funding to deliver services to seniors in the community such as food and medication, or provide tablet computers to help seniors stay connected to their loved ones through video-conferencing
  • The 2020 to 2021 NHSP call for proposals for community-based projects was held in September and October 2020. Under this call, organizations were eligible to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding. In addition, small grants of up to $5,000 were available to organizations that had not received funding within the last five years. While organizations had to address at least one of the Program’s five objectives, project proposals could also address issues affecting seniors during the pandemic. Projects are expected to start in March 2021
  • The Government of Canada also invested $350 million through the Emergency Community Support Fund to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need. The Fund, launched on May 19th, worked with three national intermediaries: the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada, to deliver this funding. These intermediaries channeled funds through their regional and local partners to local community organizations who support a wide range of vulnerable populations
  • Examples of activities of funded community organizations include:
    • Increase volunteer-based home deliveries or transportation services (for example delivery of medications or accompanying/driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments)
    • Scale up help-lines that provide information and support (for example increasing access to the 211 service of the United Way)
    • Provide training, supplies and other supports required so that volunteers can continue to make their invaluable contribution to the COVID-19 response; and
    • Replace in-person one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through means like phone calls, texts, teleconferences or the internet
  • The intermediary model focussed investments on community-identified immediate needs through local organizations with an intimate knowledge of local priorities. It also provided the flexibility to offer additional support and to address the different needs of communities as the pandemic evolves

Seniors' financial and economic security

  • The Government is taking measures to ensure that the Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits seniors rely on will continue to be paid without delay, and that new applications for these benefits will also be processed in a timely fashion
  • The Government also provided additional financial support of $2.5 billion for a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), for a total of $500. Allowance recipients also received $500. This measure helped seniors cover increased costs caused by COVID-19. Seniors received the one-time payment the week of July 6
  • To help protect seniors’ investment assets during a volatile market, the Government reduced the minimum withdrawals required from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25% for 2020
  • The Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provided a one-time special top-up payment through the GST credit of an average of $375 for singles with low- and modest-incomes and an average of $510 for couples with low- and modest-incomes. Eligible individuals, including seniors, did not have to apply for this benefit. Payments began April 9, 2020

Homelessness

  • To address the needs of those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis, the Government has committed over $400 million for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy in 2020 to 2021. Reaching Home provides a community-based approach to deliver funding directly to municipalities and local service providers

Background

Community organizations are on the frontlines, serving critical community needs both in times of stability and crisis. Many vulnerable Canadians, such as seniors, children and youth at risk, people with disabilities, women, racialized communities such as Black Canadians, people experiencing homelessness, and members of the LGBTQ2 community rely on these organizations, and that reliance often rises in times of hardship. They provide meals to isolated seniors, services to children and youth at risk, shelter for the homeless, support for those fleeing domestic abuse, addiction counselling, settlement services for recent immigrants, and countless other contributions.

To-date, the Government of Canada has announced a number of initiatives that support charitable and non-profit organizations in addressing COVID-19-related issues. Examples include: $100M for Food Banks and Local Food Organizations; $9M to United Way Canada through the New Horizons for Seniors Program to support isolated seniors in all regions across Canada; over $400M in additional funding to the Reaching Home-funded communities to support people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak; $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities; and $350 million for the Emergency Community Support Fund to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program is the single largest funder of programming to combat social isolation among seniors in Canada with an annual budget of $70 million. While it is well-known for its small grants that support social participation and inclusion, the Program also funds volunteer services that are essential to seniors’ quality of life and ability to live independently, such as Meals on Wheels and supports for seniors who are caregivers.

The Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic recognizes that older persons are particularly affected by the crisis and is increasing supports to seniors in various ways. The Government of Canada is providing support to voluntary and service organizations who are working to provide necessary services to seniors, and has introduced several new measures to protect seniors’ financial security.

New flexibilities under the community-based stream of the New Horizons for Seniors Program allowed organizations across the country to use previously approved project funding, approximately $50 million, for essential services to seniors affected by COVID-19. Organizations that were approved for funding for the 2019 to 2020 call for proposals could use their funding for activities such as helping seniors stay connected to their community and family, and supporting the delivery of food and medication to seniors at home. The additional investment of $20 million to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, supported organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.

As well, the NHSP provided $9 million in funding to the United Way Centraide Canada to work with communities in each province and territory to support isolated, vulnerable seniors cope with the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund complemented these investments and supported community organizations serving vulnerable populations to adapt and reorient their services in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Emergency Community Support Fund was delivered through the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) of ESDC. SDPP is a flexible and responsive program focused on supporting children and families, including seniors, persons with disabilities and Black Canadians. ESDC has pioneered innovations in federal funding to charities and non-profits, and has found the intermediary model to be an efficient mechanism that can rapidly distribute funds in a manner that is responsive to community needs.

To support a wide range of community organizations serving vulnerable populations, the Emergency Community Support Fund relied on 3 main intermediaries, the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada.

Those 3 intermediaries:

  • Flowed funding quickly to local organizations that needed it the most
  • Conducted fair and transparent assessment processes
  • Minimized duplication through national and local coordination; and
  • Were accountable for the use of the funds and its results

From May 19, 2020 to October 30, 2020, community-based organizations from across the country could apply for funding through the Emergency Community Support Fund to support a variety of activities that addressed a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19.

In addition, ESDC worked with the Canadian Red Cross to train and equip the volunteers and staff of community organizations to safely provide services; and the United Way to enhance the social services helpline 211.

To address the needs of those experiencing homelessness in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the Government invested an additional $409 million in Reaching Home. The Program began providing additional funding as of April 1, 2020 to 58 Designated Communities (including in Quebec), 30 communities receiving funding directly under the Indigenous Homelessness stream, and the three territorial capitals; and recipients of the Rural and Remote Homelessness stream and for Indigenous Homelessness stream investments not allocated to specific communities. Later rounds of funding extended support to six additional Designated Communities and several Modern Treaty Holders.

Prepared by

Name: Suzanne Allen

Title: Program Manager

Key contact

Name: Susan MacPhee

Title: Director, Social Programs Division

Phone number: 613-567-3607

9. Advertising programs

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1.2 million related to government advertising programs in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Suggested response

  • For the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B), the Department requested $1.2 million for advertising campaigns
  • A budget of $1 million will be allocated for the ‘’Services for Seniors’’ campaign. This campaign will promote programs and services related to Seniors
  • A budget of $200,000 will be allocated for the ‘’Inclusive Workplace’’ campaign. This campaign will increase awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities

Key facts

  • In line with the 2020 Speech from the Throne of addressing the gaps in our social system and build back better to create a stronger, more resilient Canada, the Government of Canada offers numerous programs and services designed to help older Canadians prepare for and live in retirement and improve the life outcomes of persons with disabilities
  • The Government communicates with the public in both official languages to inform Canadians of policies, programs, services and initiatives, and of Canadians’ rights and responsibilities under the law

Background

Program objectives

The 2020 to 2021 advertising campaign’s objectives are to:

  • increase knowledge and awareness of Government of Canada programs and services that either directly or indirectly benefit seniors and people with disabilities
  • Drive Canadians to a campaign page on Canada.ca for more information on specific initiatives

Funding

[redacted]

Allocation of funds

ESDC, in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), will establish contracts with advertising agencies via the advertising standing offer process. Contracting is managed through PSPC. Funds are allocated to cover the costs of the planning, production, media buy and evaluation of the advertising campaign.

Anticipated results

Services for Seniors Campaign
  • Meet or surpass visits from previous campaign (1,140,000 visits achieved in the past campaign)
  • Meet or surpass the click-through rates achieved in the previous campaign
Inclusive Workplace Campaign
  • Increase visits by 2% compared to pre-campaign visits
  • Meet or surpass the click-through rates achieved in the previous campaign

Monitoring and measurement

The advertising campaigns will be measured through the following:

  • Advertising Campaign Evaluation Tool (ACET) results – unaided and aided recall rates
  • Agency of Record evaluation reports and paid social media analytics
  • Web traffic on the web campaign pages

Funding ($000’s) and FTE

FTE

  • Existing FTEs – 0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 FTEs – 0
  • Total FTEs – 0

Salary

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

O and M

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,200
  • Total Funding $1,200

Total operating

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,200
  • Total Funding $1,200

EBP

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Sub-total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,200
  • Total Funding $1,200

Vote 5 G and C

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,200
  • Total Funding $1,200

Prepared by

Name: Diane Duford

Title: Director, Marketing and Advertising, PASRB

No phone number: 613-415-5221

Key contact

Name: Heather MacDonald

Title: Acting Director General, Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations, PASRB

Phone number: 613-219-8728

Approved by

Name: Debora Brown

Title: Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, PASRB

Phone number: 613-697-8041

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

10. Business Resumption (COVID-19) for federal jurisdiction employers

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.5 million in funding to support in Business Resumption (COVID-19) for federal jurisdiction employers in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

[One paragraph redacted]

  • Additional support and guidance for employers and workplaces to protect the health and safety of workers during the pandemic will benefit both employers and about 1.2 million employees in the federal jurisdiction, in addition to reaching a broader workforce in provinces and territories

Response

  • COVID-19 has created challenges on many fronts for workers and employers in Canada
  • The Government of Canada is taking action to protect Canadians and ensure our economy continues to stay as strong as possible through and beyond the COVID‑19 pandemic
  • Every Canadian has the right to a healthy and safe workplace. That is why ESDC sought funding of $3.5 million for two fiscal years (FY2020-21 and FY2021-22) to support business resumption activities across the country related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The funding for the COVID-19 Response Coordination Team includes $2.5 million for the Labour Program, and $1.0 million for Transport Canada to increase proactive occupational health and safety (OHS) activities, outreach and guidance, as well as technical expertise
  • As a complementary approach to ESDC’s, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety will receive funding of $2.5 million over two fiscal years (FY2020 to 2021 and FY2021 to 2022), to develop a comprehensive program to provide credible, informative and clear language resources, guidance, knowledge transfer documents and e-learning materials to enable Canadians to safely return to work during an active and/or post-pandemic environment with minimal risk

Background

Labour Program and Transport Canada

Effective business resumption requires focused occupational health and safety (OHS) support for federally regulated entities, including an increased emphasis on workplace prevention measures. The risks of business resumption are significant if not managed appropriately, including physical (for example illness, death) and psychological harm (for example mental health, stress).

[One paragraph redacted]

This initiative will also complement additional resources for delivery partners as they continue to undertake sector-specific labour investigations and inspections on behalf of the Minister of Labour. Transport Canada will use the increased capacity to complement the Labour Program’s efforts with respect to transport-specific proactive activities ($502,660), and technical expertise ($502,661). Funding for this initiative is for two years.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

CCOHS has the mandate and expertise to develop sector-specific guidance, but does not currently have the resources to manage the significant and complicated workplace needs throughout and following COVID 19. CCOHS requires additional support to assume an expanded role in this domain.

CCOHS recently signed an Interdepartmental Letter of Agreement with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to develop sector-specific documents that integrate COVID 19 public health consideration into workplace health and safety business resumption guidance. Developing training materials that complement these guidance documents will support efficient and effective return to work plans.

The temporary funding will enable the development of training materials ($1,211,586) and knowledge translation tools ($1,011,843), and support the hiring of new resources to better support CCOHS operations ($276,571). Funding for this initiative is for two years.

Note:

On days when the House of Commons is sitting, preparation of the background section should not hold up the finalization and approval of key messages.

Labour Program’s 2020-21 Funding

Funding ($000’s) and FTE

FTE

  • Existing FTEs – 234
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 FTEs – 4
  • Total FTEs – 238

Salary

  • Existing Funding $20,035
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $286
  • Total Funding $20,321

O and M

  • Existing Funding $3,490
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $161
  • Total Funding $3,651

Total Operating

  • Existing Funding $23,525
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $447
  • Total Funding $23,972

EBP

  • Existing Funding $4,007
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $77
  • Total Funding $4,084

Sub-Total

  • Existing Funding $27,532
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $524
  • Total Funding $28,056

Vote 5 G and C

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Total

  • Existing Funding $27,532
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $524
  • Total Funding $28,056

Prepared by

Name: Marie-Pier Chauret

Title: Policy Analyst

Phone number: 343-572-5967

Key contact

Name: Duncan Shaw

Title: Senior Director, Occupational Health and Safety

Phone number: 613-816-1580

Approved by

Name: Frances McCormick

Title: Acting Director General

Phone number: 613-818-2074

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

11. Communications Strategy funding related to Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.9 million for a Transfer from Privy Council Office to Employment and Social Development for COVID-19 Communications Strategy funding related to Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Suggested response

  • The Privy Council Office will transfer $900,000 from the COVID-19 Communications Strategy Funding to ESDC for the ‘’Essential Services Jobs / Job Bank’’ advertising campaign
  • In support to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and efforts to support workers and businesses during the pandemic, this campaign will bring job seekers and employers together on the Job Bank job search platform

Key Facts

  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic many businesses are closing in Canada and unemployment rates are high. The unemployment rate reached the highest rate recorded in May 2020 at 13.7% since comparable data became available in 1976 (Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, May 2020). The unemployment rate decreased in August to 10.2%, but is still as high as in 1985 (Statistic Canada, Unemployment rates in Canada and the United States, 1976 to 2016). There are, however, many sectors and industries still seeking employees
  • In line with the 2020 Speech of the Throne of supporting people and businesses through this crisis and build back better to create a stronger, more resilient Canada, the Government of Canada offers numerous programs and services designed to help job seekers in their job search and make it easier for employers to hire
  • The Government communicates with the public in both official languages to inform Canadians of policies, programs, services and initiatives, and of Canadians’ rights and responsibilities under the law

Background

Program Objectives

The 2020 to 2021 advertising campaign’s objectives are to:

  • Inform young and adult Canadians of the many job opportunities available during the pandemic and encourage employers to post job opportunities and find candidates on Job Bank
  • Drive audiences to the COVID-19 Job Bank web page to find tools and resources related to jobs

Funding

[One sentence redacted] Funding for this campaign will be obtained through a $900,000 transfer to ESDC from the Privy Council Office’s existing funds for the Essential Services Jobs/Job Bank advertising campaign.

Allocation of Funds

ESDC, in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), will establish a contract with the government's Agency of Record (AOR). Contracting is managed through PSPC. Funds are allocated to cover the costs of the planning and media buy for the advertising campaign.

Anticipated Results

  • Increase visits by 2% compared to pre-campaign visits
  • Maintain or surpass GC click-through rate benchmarks

Monitoring and Measurement

The advertising campaign will be measured through the following:

  • Agency of Record evaluation reports and paid social media analytics
  • Web traffic on the web campaign pages

Funding ($000’s) and FTE

FTE

  • Existing FTEs – 0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 FTEs – 0
  • Total FTEs – 0

Salary

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $0
  • Total Funding $0

O and M

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $900
  • Total Funding $0

Total Operating

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $900
  • Total Funding $0

EBP

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Sub-Total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Vote 5 G and C

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020-21 $900
  • Total Funding $900

Prepared by

Name: Diane Duford

Title: Director, Marketing and Advertising, PASRB

Phone number: 613-415-5221

Key contact

Name: Heather MacDonald

Title: Acting Director General, Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations, PASRB

Phone number: 613-219-8728

Approved by

Name: Debora Brown

Title: Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, PASRB

Phone number: 613-697-8041

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

12. National Campaign of Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $0.6 million for an Internal reallocation of resources from Vote 5 (Contributions) to Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) for the National Campaign of Youth Employment and Skills Strategy in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

There is persistent low awareness and poor perceptions of the skilled trades as a promising career choice amongst youth and their key influencers (for example, parents, guidance counsellors).

Budget 2019 announced six million dollars over two years, starting in 2019 to 2020, for a National Campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people.

Response

  • In Budget 2019, the Government committed to creating a National Campaign to promote the skilled trades as first-choice careers to youth.
  • The internal reallocation of funding from Contributions to Operating expenditure votes sought in Supplementary Estimates B will enable Employment and Social Development Canada to lead the Campaign design and delivery.
  • ESDC will work to support the Campaign's objective of enhancing the perception of apprenticeship and the skilled trades as a path to well-paying, rewarding jobs.

Background

Budget 2019 announced the Government of Canada's commitment to invest six million dollars over two years to create a National Campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people. [One sentence redacted]

In August 2019, the Prime Minister announced an Advisory Committee to provide advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion on what a successful Campaign would require.

On February 27, 2020, the Advisory Committee Co-Chairs presented their final report to the Minister. With little time left before the end of March, the funds allocated in 2019 to 2020 for the National Campaign could not be fully spent before the end of the fiscal year. [One sentence redacted]

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted departmental priorities and delayed work on the National campaign.

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion recently approved an approach whereby ESDC would lead on the next phases of the Campaign's design and delivery. A department-led approach would leverage ESDC's networks and could be an opportunity to demonstrate federal leadership on apprenticeship and the skilled trades.

As a consequence of this recent decision, ESDC is requesting that funding for both 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022 move from Vote 5 Grants and Contributions to Vote 1 Operating expenditures. This will facilitate a Department-led approach, rather than the originally envisioned third-party-led approach. Supplementary Estimates B will move the funding for 2020 to 2021. A further reallocation of $4.4 million will be sought under ARLU 2021 to 2022 to move unspent funds from this fiscal year to the next, and from Vote 5 to Vote 1, to support the ongoing development and delivery of the Campaign by ESDC.

Funding ($000’s) and FTE

FTE

  • Existing FTEs – 0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 FTEs – 0
  • Total FTEs – 0

Salary

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

O and M

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $600
  • Total Funding $600

Total operating

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $600
  • Total Funding $600

EBP

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Sub-total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $600
  • Total Funding $600

Vote 5 G and C

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $(600)
  • Total Funding $(600)

Total

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $0

Prepared by

Name: Caroline Lamirande

Title: Senior Policy Analyst, Trades and Apprenticeship Division

No phone number: 613-262-2855

Key contact

Name: Kendra Thayer

Title: Manager, Trades and Apprenticeship Division

Phone number: 873-353-5123

Approved by

Name: Elisha Ram

Title: Associate ADM SEB

Phone number: 819-654-5212

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

13. From CERB to Employment Insurance

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $28.5 billion for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021?

Context

  • Planned spending for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in Supplementary Estimates A was $60B. The $28.5B adjustment in Supplementary Estimates B brings the Proposed Authorities to $88.5B, matching the funding decision for CERB
  • CERB's $88.5B proposed authorities include the initial program and the two extension periods. They are comprised of benefits and operational costs for both CERB and EI-ERB

Response

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19
  • The funding authority for the CERB under the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act ends on December 31, 2020
  • The CERB is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. Eligible workers can make retrospective benefit applications with respect to that period until December 2, 2020

Background

CERB

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working related to COVID-19. The Benefit provides $500 per week, and is delivered through both Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CERB is available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old
  • Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily

As of September 15, 2020, the government has served more than 8.7M unique applicants, and processed over 26.7M applications totaling over $78B in payments.

PHENCPA

The Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA) authorizes payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for “Things that may be done in relation to a public health event of national concern”, which includes “providing income support, including the Canada emergency response benefit”. The PHENCPA is to be repealed on December 31, 2020.

Funding (in billions of dollars)

  • Supplementary Estimates (A), 2020 to 2021: $60.0
  • Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020 to 2021: $28.5
  • Total Estimated Spending: $88.5

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Andrew Brown

Title: Director General EI Policy

Phone number: 819-639-3532

Approved by

Name: Andrew Brown

Title: Director General EI Policy, ESDC-EDSC

Phone number: 819-639-3532

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

14. Provincial and Territorial Job Training Efforts

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1.5 billion for Supporting Provincial and Territorial Job Training Efforts (Workforce Development Agreements) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

  • The impacts of the pandemic have been significant. Over 3 million Canadian workers lost their jobs from February to April 2020. Unemployment reached a record high of 13.7% in May 2020, up from 5.6% this past February
  • The August labour force survey figures indicated that 1.8 million Canadian workers are still affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, with an unemployment rate of 10.2%
  • Evidence shows that early participation in training enhances employment outcomes. Ensuring that Canadian workers have access to, and are aware of, the training and employment supports they need to prepare them to re-enter the labour market is key to an inclusive economic recovery
  • The skills training and employment supports delivered by provinces and territories are a critical part of Canada's skills training infrastructure

Response

  • ESDC is requesting to provide $1.5B in additional funding to provinces and territories in 2020 to 2021 through the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs). The additional funding will provide timely support so provinces and territories can respond to the unprecedented increase in unemployed Canadians seeking skills training and employment supports. Provinces and territories can draw on their existing service delivery infrastructure to reach the broadest range of Canadians in the fastest manner possible
  • This immediate support will reach workers and employers in sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19, as well as groups particularly disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. This is in addition to the $3.4 billion already being provided to provinces and territories under the Labour Market Development Agreements and Workforce Development Agreements in 2020 to 2021
  • Funding will also help enable PTs to respond to adjust their services models to comply with public health requirements during Covid-19 and serve more clients
  • PT supports are key to supporting Canadians gain skills they need to gain or retain more stable employment. The WDAs reach vulnerable and underrepresented groups, in providing new funding that will support the provinces and territories in delivering targeted supports to groups particularly disadvantaged by the pandemic

Background

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, the Government of Canada will provide an additional $1.5 billion to provinces and territories in 2020 to 2021 through provinces and territories, through the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs). This immediate support will respond to the increased number of Canadians looking to re-enter the workforce, and targets workers and employers in sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19, as well as groups particularly disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. This is in addition to the $3.4 billion already being provided to provinces and territories under the Labour Market Development Agreements and Workforce Development Agreements in 2020 to 2021.

Provinces and territories have strong service delivery networks in place that are already adapting to social distancing requirements. Providing this investment through the Workforce Development Agreement will ensure quick access to training for Canadian workers, including gig-workers and the self-employed. Canadians will have access to programs such as skills training, wage subsidies, job search assistance and career counselling.

The funding has been allocated among provinces and territories based on two equally-weighted variables: 50% of the funding has been allocated based on their share of total employment losses in their ten most affected sectors; and, 50% has been allocated based on their share of the Canadian population. To ensure equity, a 0.2% funding floor was established for each of the territories.

The Government of Canada is committed to fostering an inclusive labour market that strengthens and grows the middle class. As Canada’s population ages, technology advances, and the labour market experiences increasing volatility, the Government is taking steps to ensure that all workers get the skills they need to find good jobs, and that no one is left behind. That is why the Government of Canada has entered into Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) with all provinces and territories (PTs).

Programs delivered under the WDAs provide skills training and employment programming with a focus on those further removed from the labour market and those wishing to upskill, including those who may not be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). The WDAs can assist individuals regardless of their employment status. Those who are unemployed, underemployed, employed or self-employed can receive supports for upskilling, career reorientation and on-the-job-training, to ultimately find and maintain good jobs.

The WDAs also include specific funding targeted for persons with disabilities, and can also be used to support members of underrepresented groups such as visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, youth, older workers, and newcomers to Canada. The WDAs can also support employers seeking to train current or future employees to fill available jobs or enhance the skills of their workforce.

Funding ($000’s) and FTE

FTE

  • Existing FTEs – 24
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 FTEs – 6
  • Total FTEs – 30

Salary

  • Existing Funding $2,250
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $595
  • Total Funding $2,845

O and M

  • Existing Funding $218
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,161
  • Total Funding $1,379

Total operating

  • Existing Funding $2,468
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,756
  • Total Funding $4,224

EBP

  • Existing Funding $333
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $160
  • Total Funding $493

Sub-total

  • Existing Funding $2,801
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,916
  • Total Funding $4,717

Vote 5 G and C

  • Existing Funding $922
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,498,084
  • Total Funding $2,420,084

Total

  • Existing Funding $924,801
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,500,000
  • Total Funding $2,424,801

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Saajida Deen

Title: A/Director General

Phone number: 613-790-3566

Approved by

Name: Saajida Deen

Title: A/Director General

Phone number: 613-790-3566

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in: October 16, 2020

15. Payments for the Canada Student Service Grant

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting a $912 million adjustment to Payments for the Canada Student Service Grant pursuant to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Context

  • The Government of Canada allocated up to $912 million for the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) to implement and deliver the program through the establishment of a Contribution Agreement with a total value of up to $543.5 million, with additional funding upon necessity
  • The CSSG was launched on June 25, 2020, to provide support to students and recent graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • On July 3, 2020, the Government of Canada and the WE Charity Foundation announced that the CSSG Contribution Agreement would be terminated
  • Given the cancellation of the CSSG and the return of funds allocated to the WE Charity Foundation, the Supplementary Estimates B total is $0

Suggested response

  • The Government of Canada allocated up to $912 million for the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG). In order to implement and deliver the program, a Contribution Agreement was established with the WE Charity Foundation for a total value of up to $543.5 million to administer cash awards directly to up to 100,000 eligible students and recent graduates.
  • This amount was commensurate with program activities and tied to the expected uptake of the program. If demand exceeded the number of grants funded in the original Contribution Agreement, additional funding would have been available for the program.
  • Of the $543.5 million allocated through the Contribution Agreement, $500 million was earmarked for cash award funding to be disbursed directly to eligible students and recent graduates.
  • Up to $43.5 million was earmarked for the design and delivery of the Canada Student Service Grant. This included $19.5 million to support program delivery costs for the first 20,000 placements, $13.53 million for an additional 20,000 placements, and $10.5 million for the disbursement of the cash awards beyond 40,000 project participants.
  • The program delivery costs represent approximately 8% of the total project amount.
  • On July 3, 2020, the Government of Canada and the WE Charity Foundation announced that the agreement for the CSSG would be terminated.
  • Supplementary Estimates (A) was $912 million to reflect the total funding that could have been allocated for the CSSG. Given the cancellation of the CSSG, this total has been adjusted and Supplementary Estimates (B) is $0.

Background

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $9 billion to assist students and youth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada allocated up to $912 million for the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).

In order to implement and deliver the program, a contribution agreement (CA) was established with the WE Charity Foundation for a total value of up to $543.5 million to administer cash awards directly to up to 100,000 eligible students and recent graduates. This amount was commensurate with program activities and was tied to the expected uptake of the program. If demand exceeded the number of grants funded in the original CA, additional funding would have still been available for the program.

The funding breakdown is as follows:

  • $500 million earmarked for cash award funding, to be disbursed directly to eligible students and recent graduates; and
  • Up for $43.5 million for the design and delivery of the CSSG. This included:
  • $19.5 million to support program delivery costs for an initial 20,000 service placements, including $5 million to be redistributed to not-for-profit partners to support the creation of service placements, and $300,000 to support project participants who did not have access to technology required to participate in virtual service placements
  • $13.53 million to be subsequently used to support program delivery costs for an additional 20,000 service placements (should there have been demand), including $3.75 million to be redistributed to not-for-profit partners to support the creation of service placements, and $300,000 to support project participants that did not have access to technology; and
  • $10.5 million to support the disbursement of the cash awards to eligible students beyond the 40,000 project participants (via the I Want to Help platform). Activities undertaken by I Want to Help included reviewing and posting service placements; ensuring that participants met and understood eligibility criteria; facilitating the completion of the registration process; verifying hours; and disbursing the cash award

In the CA, the Government set the funding parameters, including policy and program objectives, desired outcomes, eligible expenditures, and performance measurement.

The CSSG CA was signed on June 23, 2020. However, on July 3, the WE Charity Foundation stepped away from delivering the CSSG following political and public backlash. The program was cancelled, and the CSSG did not move forward as planned. The Contribution Agreement with WE Charity Foundation has been terminated and all funds that were advanced have been returned to the Government of Canada.

Supplementary Estimates (A) was $912 million to reflect the total funding that could have been allocated for the CSSG. Given that funding is not currently being used as originally intended, it is subject to the Supplementary Estimates process in order to reallocate all or part of it for other initiatives. This is why the Supplementary Estimates (B) total is $0.

Prepared by

Name: Emily Nickel

Title: Advisor

Phone number: 613-809-2159

Key contact

Name: Ritu Banerjee

Title: Executive Director, Canada Service Corps

Phone number: 613-220-2300

Approved by

Name: Alexis Conrad

Title: ADM

Phone number: 819-654-8448

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

16. Canada Student Loans Programs

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1,347.7 million for adjustments to Canada Student Loans Programs in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

Canada Student Grants are disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (CSFAA). The amount of grants for 2019 to 2020 was $1.58 billion.

Suggested response

  • The projection for grants has been increased by $1.6 billion to take into consideration the temporary COVID measure on doubling the grant amounts for loan year 2020 to 2021.
  • The total estimate for transfer payments has been reduced to reflect the impact of the temporary 6 month moratorium on loan repayments, which deferred the cost of the repayment assistance program Repayment Assistance Plan, and also the expected alternative payment to non-participating jurisdictions.

Background

The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) promotes accessibility to post-secondary education for students who require financial support to undertake their studies. By reducing financial barriers for these students through the provision of loans and grants, the CSLP enables Canadians to gain knowledge, skills and qualifications required for successful participation in the economy and society.

Changes to Canada Student Grants and Loans have been introduced so students facing financial challenges from COVID-19 can access and afford post-secondary education.

In response to increased need for the coming 2020 to 2021 school year, the maximum amount of Canada Student Grants has been doubled. The Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students was increased up to a maximum of $6,000 and the grant for part-time studies to $3,600. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependants was also doubled.

Also, due to the pandemic, a 6 month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans, effective until September 30, 2020, is providing relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers currently in repayment. This is reducing the expected cost of the repayment assistance program Repayment Assistance Plan for the current fiscal year as well as the estimated alternative payment to non-participating jurisdictions.

Allocation of funds (main components)

Canada Student Grants: The CSLP provides up-front grants to students from low- and middle-income families, students with dependents, part-time students and those with permanent disabilities. There was an increase of $1,550.6 million from the Main Estimates amount of $1,677.8 million in the 2020-21 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Funding

Canada Student Grants

  • Existing Funding $1,677,841
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,550,605
  • Total Funding $3,228,446

Interest and other Liabilities under the CSFA Act (Risk Shared Loans)

  • Existing Funding $6,087
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $5,169
  • Total Funding $11,256

Liabilities under the CSL Act (Guaranteed Loans)

  • Existing Funding $(1,967)
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $202
  • Total Funding $(1,765)

Interest payments under the CSL Act (Guaranteed Loans)

  • Existing Funding $0
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $65
  • Total Funding $65

Payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Apprentice Loan Act

  • Existing Funding $2,995
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $(993)
  • Total Funding $2,002

Payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

  • Existing Funding $980,566
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $(207,298)
  • Total Funding $773,268

Total Adjustment to Canada Student Loans Programs

  • Funding $2,665,522
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $1,347,750
  • Total Funding $4,013,272

Prepared by

Fannie Brisson

Senior Financial Analyst / CSLP

873-396-4873

Daniel Rozon Manager, Financial Policy and Financial Analysis / CSLP

819-654-8891

Key contact

Patrick Leblanc

Comptroller/ CSLP

819-654-8574

Approved by

Alexis Conrad,

Assistant Deputy Minister

Learning Branch

819-654-8448

and

Mark Perlman

Chief Financial Officer

819-654-6634

Date

October 2nd, 2020

17. Payment to support Persons with Disabilities one-time payment

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $848.5 million for adjustments to Payment to support Persons with Disabilities one-time payment under An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures in Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

One-time payment to Persons with Disabilities

Context

Why is it taking so long for Canadians with disabilities to receive the one-time payment to help them with extraordinary expenses incurred during the pandemic?

Suggested response

  • Persons with disabilities have faced unique challenges and costs during COVID-19
  • These might include higher costs for: personal support workers and other disability supports; internet due to physical distancing; increased use of taxis and home delivery services for food and medication
  • The Government of Canada will be automatically issuing a one-time non-taxable, non-reportable payment of up to $600 to approximately 1.7 million eligible Canadians to help pay for these expenses
  • About 1.6 million people will receive the payment starting October 30, 2020. That’s $763 million for persons with disabilities. The remaining payments will go out in early 2021
  • To make it easier for eligible clients, rather than ask them to submit an application, the GoC is leveraging existing information to issue these payments
  • Many Canadians are eligible for this payment. They include recipients of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD), Quebec Pension Plan disability pension (QPPD), and 7 Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) benefits, and time is needed to put a system in place, integrate and validate the data, and ensure that the payment is issued to the eligible recipient

Background

June 5, 2020, the GoC announced a one-time non-taxable and non-reportable payment of up to $600 to support Canadians with disabilities.

July 17, 2020, the GoC announced legislative plans to make the benefit available to approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities. Bill C-20 received Royal Assent on July 27, 2020.

[Three paragraphs redacted]

This payment will automatically be issued to:

  • holders of an existing valid DTC certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, or those deemed eligible for the DTC who applied by September 25, 2020; and
  • beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020 of:
  • CPPD
  • QPPD
  • One of the VAC disability supports

Seniors with disabilities, who are eligible for the one-time seniors payment as well as this payment will receive a total of $600:

  • If they received the $300 one-time seniors payment for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, they will receive an additional $300; or
  • If they received the $500 one-time seniors payment for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or the Allowance, they will receive an additional $100

Starting October 30, 2020, 1.6 million of the 1.7 million recipients will start receiving their payments. The next payment is planned for January 2021 and includes eligible individuals that applied for the DTC by September 25, 2020, and have not yet received a response from the CRA, as well as those that could not be included in the October payments due to incorrect personal information.

Prepared by

Name: Joanne Pellerin

Title: Director General, Transformation Management Branch

Phone number: 613-608-1835

Key contact

Name: Joanne Pellerin

Title: Director General, Transformation Management Branch

Phone number: 613-608-1835

Approved by

Name: Tammy Belanger

Title: A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Transformation Management Branch

Phone number: 613-759-2170

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

18. Contributions to employee benefit plans

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting an adjustment of $1.4 million in funding to the statutory item "Contributions to employee benefit plans" in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

  • Changes to statutory items are presented in the Supplementary Estimates for information purposes only as Parliament has already approved the purpose of the statutory expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made through other legislation (other than Appropriation Acts)
  • Contributions to employee benefit plans include costs to the government for the employer’s matching contributions and payments to the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the Canada and the Quebec Pension Plans, death benefits, and the Employment Insurance Operating Account

Response

An adjustment of $1,440,799 to EBP costs related to 3 items requested in these Supplementary Estimates is being included in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B). The 3 items are:

  • Funding to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms ($1,186,801)
  • Funding for Training for Personal Support Worker Interns; and Other Measures to Address Labour Shortages in Long-Term and Home Care ($176,810); and
  • Funding to support Business Resumption for federally regulated employers ($77,188)

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director

Phone number: 819-654-6402

Key contact

Name: Jason Won

Title: Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Phone number: 819-654-6583

Approved by

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

19. Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, outbreaks on farms

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $6.9 million (excluding employee benefit plan costs) in Vote 1 and $15.5 million in Statutory funding to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms (COVID-19) in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Context

  • To protect the health and safety of Canadian and migrant farm workers, on July 31, 2020 the Government announced action to address COVID-19 outbreaks on farms including $7.4 million to increase support to temporary foreign workers (TFWs), and $16.2 to strengthen the TFW Program compliance regime
  • This funding will not be fully dispersed by December 31, 2020, the repeal date of the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA), therefore an appropriation of $6.9 million is requested for payments made between January and March 2021

Response

  • Since the very beginning of this pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a number of important steps to ensure the safe arrival of farm workers, who play a vital role in preserving Canada’s food security. To protect the health and safety of Canadian and migrant farm workers, the Government has been working with municipal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as farmers, support groups, workers and other employers who participate in the TFW Program
  • Despite these efforts, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks on a number of Canadian farms that have significantly impacted the health and safety of workers. This is why on July 31, 2020 the Government announced action to strengthen the TFW Program and make further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19
  • An investment of $16.2M is underway to strengthen the employer inspections regime, particularly on farms, and making improvements to how tips and allegations of employer non-compliance are addressed. $7.9M has since been invested to ensure that an additional 3,000 inspections will be conducted prior to the fiscal year end, with a portion completed by September 30. The majority of inspections will be in the Agriculture sector. Funds have been allocated to ensure the hiring of more FTEs, and other resources are in place to meet these targets. Remaining funds have been allocated for activities to make improvements to the Tip-Line, including for translation services.
  • Substantial work is underway on these commitments, and will continue beyond December 31, 2020; $7.4M in additional funding to increase supports to temporary foreign workers is expected to be dispersed by fiscal year end. This includes $6.0M in funding to assist migrant worker organizations to directly reach TFWs affected by COVID-19 and provide them with information, resources and services to exercise their rights. This also includes an investment of $500K in the Job Bank platform, to assist temporary foreign workers in Canada with finding new jobs, thereby helping address the power imbalance between workers and employers, and mitigating the risk of abuse by unscrupulous recruiters

Background

  • On July 31, 2020 Minister Qualtrough and Minister Bibeau announced $58.6 million to strengthen the TFW Program and safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19. It included:
  • Investing $7.4M to increase supports to temporary foreign workers, including $6M for direct outreach to workers delivered through migrant worker support organizations. Recommended recipients have been identified and the $6 million allocation of funds is expected to be dispersed by March 31, 2021, pending Ministerial approval. $900K will be dedicated to associated internal administrative and oversight costs and will be dispersed by fiscal year end, with the remaining $500K being invested in the Job Bank platform to assist worker in finding new jobs
  • Strengthening the employer inspections regime, particularly on farms, and making improvements to how tips and allegations of employer non-compliance are addressed (such as by initiating an inspection) through an investment of $16.2 million. Approximately $1.5M has been spent on integrity activities to date, with the remaining to be dispersed by fiscal year end
  • Investing $35 million to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. This will go toward direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters, temporary or emergency housing (on- or off-farm), as well as PPE, sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures. This funding will be delivered by Agriculture and Agrifood Canada (AAFC) and is expected to be rolled out in Fall 2020
  • AAFC has been holding bilateral and group consultations with provincial/territorial governments related to the delivery of the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund (EOFSF). Six provinces have expressed their willingness to deliver the EOFSF and were asked to submit proposals to deliver their programs. AAFC officials continue to work with P/Ts to negotiate agreements and timing of their respective program launches. For those jurisdictions that do not have the capacity to deliver the program, the program will be delivered by the Farm Income Programs Directorate (FIPD)
  • The Government will continue to develop mandatory requirements to improve employer-provided accommodations, focusing on ensuring better living conditions for workers

Funding (in millions of dollars)

Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act – 2020 to 2021: $15.5M

Voted Appropriation Vote 1 Operating expenditures: $6.9M

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Director general, Planning and Expenditure Management

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Philippe Massé

Title: Director General, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Phone number: 613-793-5673

Approved by

Name: Philippe Massé

Title: Director General, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Phone number: 613-793-5673

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

20. Personal Support Worker Training in Long-Term and Home Care

Issue

Why is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requesting $1 million (excluding employee benefit plan costs) in Vote 1, $11.5 million in Vote 5 (Contributions), and $13 million in Statutory funding for Personal Support Worker Training and Other Measures to Address Labour Shortages in Long-Term and Home Care in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for fiscal year ending March 31, 2021?

Key facts

  • According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, as of May 25, 2020, more than 840 outbreaks have been reported in long-term care facilities and retirement homes, which have accounted for more than 80% of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada
  • Health Canada estimates that between 170,000 and 211,000 long-term care residents live in approximately 2,060 facilities across Canada. 93% of the residents are seniors (65+years) and 7% are adults with disabilities (2016)
  • The Canadian Association for Long-Term Care forecasts that 42,000 new long-term care beds will be needed by 2023. By 2027, 45% of job openings for Personal Support Workers are expected to come from current workforce retirements
  • This funding will not be fully dispersed by December 31, 2020, the repeal date of the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA), therefore an appropriation of $1 million in Vote 1 and $11.5 million in Vote 5 is requested for payments made between January and March 2021

Response

  • The Government of Canada is taking concrete action to help address the shortage of support workers in home and long-term care to ensure that the vulnerable members of our society are safely and properly cared for, both now and into the future
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the acute need for additional workers in long-term care facilities, home care and assisted living services. It has also exacerbated workforce challenges in the supportive care sector, especially in long-term care facilities, which experienced the tragic impacts of COVID-19
  • ESDC has requested funding to provide surge capacity in supportive care by recruiting up to 4,000 new Personal Support Worker interns through an accelerated online training and work placement project. Post-surge, new interns will be encouraged to pursue long-term careers in supportive care, and to seek full certification at educational institutions that will recognize their accelerated training and work experience. This investment will further support improvements to the quality and consistency of training for these workers across the country

Background

The shortage of Personal Support Workers in the long-term and home care systems has been a growing issue for several years, particularly in the context of an aging population. Through the pandemic, existing recruitment and retention challenges (for example low pay, challenging work conditions, and low perception of the occupation) have been exacerbated by absences due to illness, self-isolation and childcare responsibilities of current workers.

The Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP) has requested funding for a pilot project to help address labour shortages in these settings.

The project will quickly training up to 4,000 Personal Support Worker interns through an accelerated online training micro-credential program, available free of cost, followed by a paid work placement. Employers that hire Personal Support Worker interns will receive a wage subsidy during the work placement period to offset the costs of increased supervision and on-the-job-training. The project will also develop a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process to assist new workers who opt to upgrade their micro-credential to a full Personal Support Worker certificate. To support long-term sustainability, professional development, and recognition of the supportive care sector, the project will engage stakeholders to develop and promote consistency in occupational and training standards across Canada.

The Government of Canada recognizes provincial and territorial jurisdiction in this sector. However, the federal government can play an important convening role in bringing all parties together to help reduce the variability in Personal Support Worker training and certification requirements across Canada.

SIP consulted with key stakeholders such as worker, industry, educational stakeholders as well as government agencies. These included Health Canada, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representatives of the Canadian Association of Continuing Care Educators (CACCE), and provincial and territorial governments.

Funding (in millions of dollars)

Mains estimates

Voted Appropriation Vote 5 Grants and contributions - Sectoral Initiative Program (SIP): $5.7M

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020 to 2021

Voted Appropriation Vote 1 Operating expenditures: $1.0M

Voted Appropriation Vote 5 Grants and contributions - Sectoral Initiative Program (SIP): $11.5M

Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act – 2020 to 2021: $13.0M

Prepared by

Name: Jennifer Moorehead

Title: Senior Director, Planning and Expenditure Management, CFOB

Phone number: 613-793-3084

Key contact

Name: Jacinthe Arsenault

Title: Director, Sectoral Initiatives Program

Phone number: 613-240-7116

Approved by

Name: Chris Bates

Title: Director General, Apprenticeship and Sectoral Initiatives Directorate

Phone number: 613-868-6517

and

Name: Mark Perlman

Title: Chief Financial Officer, CFOB, ESDC

Phone number: 819-654-6634

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: October 16, 2020

21. Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

Issue

Why is there a net increase of $1,229.6 million from the Main Estimates amount of $993.1 million to loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B)?

Context

Canada Student Loans are disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (CSFAA). The amount of loans disbursed for 2019 to 2020 was $3.5 billion.

Suggested response

  • The forecast for disbursed loans has been increased to reflect new COVID measures. The weekly loan limit has been temporary increased and the student and spousal contributions have been waived, meaning more students are receiving higher loan amounts. This new projection is in line with the latest actuarial report
  • The forecasted repayments for the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year have been decreased to take into consideration the temporary six-month moratorium on loan repayments. The decrease takes into consideration six months of non-repayment, excluding expected voluntary repayments during this period

Background

The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) promotes accessibility to post-secondary education for students who require financial support to undertake their studies. By reducing financial barriers for these students through the provision of loans and grants, the Program enables Canadians to gain knowledge, skills and qualifications required for successful participation in the economy and society.

For the 2020 to 2021 school year, students will not be required to make their fixed student contribution; no spousal contribution would be required either. Also, the weekly maximum loan limit will increase from $210 to $350. This will ensure that more students can qualify for more financial support, so students facing financial challenges from COVID-19 can access and afford post-secondary education.

Also, due to the pandemic, a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans , effective until September 30, 2020, is providing relief to 1.3 million CSLP borrowers currently in repayment.

Allocation of funds

Loan Disbursements: Represents the forecasted value of loans issued to students. There was an increase of $467.875 million from the Main Estimates amount of $3,743 million in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Repayments of principal: Represents the forecasted reimbursement from borrowers on the principal portion of their loans, including payment amounts received by the Canada Revenue Agency on defaulted loans. There was a reduction of $702.985 million from the Main Estimates amount of $2,454 million in the 2020-21 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Other Adjustments: Represents the principal portion forecasted write-offs and loans forgiven, net of capitalized grace period interest. There was a reduction of $58.764 million from the Main Estimates amount of $295.349 million in the 2020-21 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Loans disbursed under Canada Student Financial Assistance

Loans disbursed

  • Existing Funding $3,743.00
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021$467.875
  • Total Funding $4,210.875

Repayments of principal

  • Existing Funding $(2,454.517)
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021$702.985
  • Total Funding $(1,751.532)

Other adjustments

  • Existing Funding $(295.349)
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021$58.764
  • Total Funding $(236.585)

Net loans disbursed:

  • Existing Funding $993.1
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021$1,229.6
  • Total Funding $2,222,7

Prepared by

Fannie Brisson

Senior Financial Analyst

CSLP

873-396-4873

Daniel Rozon Manager, Financial Policy and Financial Analysis

CSLP

819-654-8891

Key contact

Patrick Leblanc

Comptroller

CSLP

819-654-8574

Approved by

Alexis Conrad,

Assistant Deputy Minister

Learning Branch

819-654-8448

and

Mark Perlman

Chief Financial Officer

819-654-6634

October 2nd, 2020

22. Apprentice Loans Act

Issue

Why is there a decrease of $2.0 million for loans disbursed under the Apprentice Loans Act in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B)?

Context

Canada Apprentice Loans are disbursed under the Apprentice Loans Act (ALA). The total amount of loans disbursed for 2019 to 2020 was $53 million.

Suggested response

  • The projection for disbursements has been decreased to reflect COVID impacts. Canada Apprentice Loan recipients receive loans per period of technical training. Since educational institutions were closed at the beginning of the fiscal year due to the pandemic, there has been a decrease in loans disbursed
  • The reduction in repayment is to account for the 6 month moratorium on Canada Apprentice Loan repayments due to COVID, excluding expected voluntary repayments during this period

Background

The Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL) assists apprentices in completing their training and encourages more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades. Apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship are able to apply for interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training for a maximum of 5 technical training periods. Interest charges and repayment of the new CAL do not begin until after loan recipients complete or terminate their apprenticeship training program.

Allocation of funds

Loan Disbursed: Represents the forecasted value of loans issued to students. There was a decrease of $9.925 million from the Main Estimates amount of $55.346 million in the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Repayments or principal: Represents the forecasted reimbursement from borrowers on the principal portion of their loans, including payment amounts received by the Canada Revenue Agency on defaulted loans. There was a decrease of $7.910 million from the Main Estimates amount of $30.905 million in the 2020-21 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Other Adjustments: Represents the principal portion forecasted write-offs and loans forgiven, net of capitalized grace period interest. There was no adjustment made for the 2020 to 2021 Supplementary Estimates (B).

Adjustment to Loan disbursed under the Apprentice Loan

Loans disbursed

  • Existing Funding $55.346
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $(9.925)
  • Total Funding $45.420

Repayments of principal

  • Existing Funding $(30.905)
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $7.910
  • Total Funding $(22.995)

Other adjustments

  • Existing Funding $(0.083)
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $0
  • Total Funding $(0.083)

Net loans disbursed:

  • Existing Funding $24.358
  • Supps B – 2020 to 2021 $(2.015)
  • Total Funding $22.343

Prepared by

Fannie Brisson

Senior Financial Analyst

CSLP

873-396-4873

Daniel Rozon Manager, Financial Policy and Financial Analysis

CSLP

819-654-8891

Key contact

Patrick Leblanc

Comptroller

CSLP

819-654-8574

Approved by

Alexis Conrad,

Assistant Deputy Minister

Learning Branch

819-654-8448

and

Mark Perlman

Chief Financial Officer

819-654-6634

Date

October 2nd, 2020

23. Issue: Employment Insurance regular benefits after parental benefits

Context

Why are those who started EI maternity benefits before September 27th receiving less than those after September 27th who are getting a minimum of $500?

Suggested response

  • EI maternity and parental benefits are key supports for workers who take leave to welcome new children into their families. They have remained in place throughout the pandemic helping workers to welcome a newborn or newly adopted child to their family
  • We are sensitive to the concerns expressed by expectant parents regarding access to EI maternity and parental benefits. That’s why we made changes in response to the pandemic to help workers qualify with a minimum of 120 hours of work through a one-time hours credit
  • We have also introduced a minimum EI benefit rate of $500 per week to align with the temporary Canada Recovery Benefits. This minimum benefit rate applies to all types of EI claims that are established with an effective date on or after September 27, 2020. These include regular, fishing, sickness, maternity, parental, family caregiving and compassionate care benefits
  • Individuals who established an EI claim with an effective date prior to September 27 are paid benefits at the EI benefit rate that is determined based on their earnings and could receive up to $573 per week

Prepared by

Name: Magalie Brochu

Title: Policy Officer

Key contact

Name: Andrew Brown

Title: Director General, EI Policy

Phone number: 819-654-6849

Approved by

Name: Elisha Ram

Title: AADM, Skills and Employment Branch

Phone number: 819-654-5212

Date

October 30, 2020

Date approved in SADMO / COO: MM DD, 2020

24. Unemployed Canadians not receiving debt notifications and left with no income because of cut off EI benefits

Issue

What is Service Canada doing to help unemployed Canadians receiving severance packages get the income support they need?

Context

  • Under the Government of Canada’s effort to support Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March 2020, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) put a pause on collection activities for all of ESDC debts up to September 30, 2020. This included no issuance of the notice of debts (NOD) for new debts
  • This decision was made to focus on supporting Canadians and ensuring they have the financial support necessary during these challenging and unprecedented times. The establishment of new debts would have been contradictory to this objective
  • This decision created situations where the program did not proceed with the reconciliation of EI payments and other monies paid by an employer, trustee or other third party. This may occur in situations where those other monies become payable to an EI claimant subsequent to them receiving their EI benefits. This meant that there were delays in the finalization of these payments from the employer, trustee or other third party to individual
  • As of September 27, 2020, ESDC is transitioning people back to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. With this transition, these reconciliations will be completed once again, which means the issuance of these NODs will recommence on November 1, 2020

Suggested response

Under the Government of Canada’s effort to support Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March 2020, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) put a pause on collection activities for all ESDC debts. This included no issuance of the notice of debt (NOD) for new debts.

  • This decision was made to focus on supporting Canadians and ensuring they had the financial support necessary during these challenging and unprecedented times. The establishment of new debts would have been contradictory to this objective
  • While largely positive, it may have created delays for employers, bankruptcy trustees or other third parties to finalize certain payments to EI recipients
  • This is because if these payments were for the same period for which the individual was in receipt of EI, it could put them in an overpayment situation. The EI Act requires the employer or trustee or any third party to work with Service Canada to reconcile the amounts and only pay the net amount to the individual (total payable minus calculated overpayment)
  • As of September 27, 2020, we have transitioned people back to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. As part of this transition, the issuance of these NODs, will recommence on November 1, 2020
  • As the pandemic persists, we recognize it may not be realistic for individuals in receipt of EI benefits to find employment. Therefore, while we will begin issuing the NODs, this is only a soft launch
  • We would like to reassure Canadians that this is not a restart of the full collection activities and these debts will continue to be removed from collection activities for the coming months
  • As part of our regular business processes individuals will have an opportunity to discuss repayment plans with the CRA prior to any collection activities getting underway

Background

  • The Employment Insurance (EI) program provides temporary income support to workers who, through no fault of their own, become unemployed and suffer a financial loss
  • Pursuant to the EI Act, all money, either paid or payable to a claimant that arises from their employment is considered earnings to be deducted from benefits and is allocated according to the EI legislation. These earnings, paid by reason for separation from employment, must be allocated from the date of separation from employment at a rate equal to the claimant’s normal weekly earnings from that employment, until exhausted
  • For situations in which monies become payable to an EI claimant subsequent to the receipt of EI benefits, the EI Act requires that, prior to issuing those payments, an employer or trustee (or any third party) is required to contact the Commission to determine whether the payment of these monies will cause an overpayment of EI benefits. If the monies cause an overpayment, the employer or trustee (or any third party) is required to deduct the overpayment from the earnings payable to the claimant and remit it to the Receiver General
  • Once the details of the settlement payments are reviewed by the Commission, each claim is assessed based on its individual circumstances. It also may be necessary to adjust subsequent claims. Overpayments may be established which would mean informing the trustee so they can subtract the overpayment before issuing the payment. This becomes very complex, particularly if the separation from employment occurred many years ago
  • Under the Government of Canada’s effort to support Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March 2020, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) put a pause on collection activities for all of ESDC debts up to September 30, 2020. This included no issuance of the notice of debts (NOD) for new debts
  • This decision was made to focus on supporting Canadians and ensuring they have the financial support necessary during these challenging and unprecedented times. The establishment of new overpayments would have been contradictory to this objective
  • As a result of the government’s decision to not establish new overpayments, this reconciliation of the EI payments and these other monies paid by an employer, trustee or other third party, was not undertaken. This meant that there were delays in the finalization of these payments from the employer, trustee or other third party

As of September 27, 2020, ESDC is transitioning people back to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. With this transition, these reconciliations will be completed once again, which means the issuance of these NODs will recommence on November 1, 2020

Beginning December 1 – The Department, through CRA will begin a “soft collection” contacting those individuals who owe debts that are not related to the EI-ERB to discuss repayment plans

Beginning February 1 – The Department, through CRA will begin collections for those owing debts related to the EI-ERB

Prepared by

Name: Maren Delion

Title: Manager, Business Analysis

Phone number: 873-354-8921

Key contact

Name: Nisa Tummon

Title: Director General, Strategic Directions, Benefits and Integrated Services Branch

Phone number: 613-218-4998

Approved by

Name: Cliff Groen

Title: Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Benefits and Integrated Services Branch, Department of Employment and Social Development

Phone number: 819 654 6944 Email: cliff.groen@servicecanada.gc.ca

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO: 2020-10-30

25. Issue: EI independent review

Context

Many stakeholders believe that, with the temporary EI transition measures in place until September 25, 2021, there is time to undertake a broader review of the EI program, in order to ensure that the program remains relevant and responsive into the 21st century.

Suggested response

  • The EI program provides essential support to workers who are facing unemployment and those who need to take time away from work due to life events
  • The pandemic has emphasized the importance of the EI program, while also highlighting areas where improvements are needed
  • Gaps in the EI program’s coverage of self-employed and gig workers have been especially apparent throughout the pandemic
  • The Government will continue to improve the EI program going forward so that it can better meet Canada’s needs for the 21st century
  • We will consult as appropriate and listen to Canadians as we recognize that both employees and employers have a stake in how the program evolves

Background

The EI program is reviewed on a regular basis through a number of mechanisms. The impact and effectiveness of the EI system is reviewed annually in the Monitoring Assessment Report (MAR), which is a requirement under the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act). An EI boundary review is required to be conducted every five years under the Employment Insurance Regulations. The program is also reviewed through Departmental evaluations, the EI Coverage Survey and other published evaluations. The results of these surveys and evaluations are available to stakeholders and the public.

As the EI program is tripartite in nature, it is important that the Government consult with both employers and employees. The EI Commissioners for Employers and Workers recently sent a letter request a comprehensive review of the program.

Prepared by

George Rae

Director, Employment Insurance Policy

819-661-0530

Key contact

Stephen Johnson

Director General, Labour Market Information

819-654-3801

Approved by

Elisha Ram

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister

Skills and Employment Branch

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO

26. Basic income

Issue

Growing interest in the idea of a basic income in Canada

Context

While the term “basic income” (BI) has multiple meanings, it usually refers to programming that provides recipients with guaranteed incomes sufficient to meet basic needs, with few conditions and no requirements to have or seek employment. While benefits could be universal with tax-back provisions for higher-income recipients, Canadian experts generally anticipate income testing so that payments are only made to people with incomes below a specified threshold. A partial basic income would feature payments that cover some but not all essential needs and supplement other income sources.

In the context of concerns about poverty and the changing nature of work, public interest in a basic income has been increasing, and some experts and stakeholders have advocated research such as pilot projects or other steps towards implementation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gaps in the social safety net and fuelled interest in, and support for, basic income.

Suggested response

  • This is a challenging time for all Canadians, and the Government of Canada is taking significant actions to help people facing hardship at this time because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Since April 2020, the Government has invested billions of dollars in measures to help Canadians facing challenges related to the health, social, and economic impacts resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The Government of Canada already has programs with the features of a partial basic income, such as the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
  • We will continue to monitor research and analysis on basic income and, in response to COVID-19, we are exploring potential shorter and longer-term policy responses to build a resiliency agenda for the middle class and people working hard to join it.

Background

The debate over basic income

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased calls from a range of stakeholders and experts to introduce a basic income, with the goals of reducing poverty and inequality, addressing the changing nature of work (including automation and increases in precarious employment), and improving population health and well-being.

In April 2020, fifty senators signed a letter that advocated building on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to establish a “crisis minimum income” for the short-term and then pursue further social and economic reforms.

In a May 2020 brief to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Basic Income Canada Network says that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, “a basic income provides a foundation of stability, security, a measure of confidence and a level of trust in government that will make good outcomes possible.”

Critics of basic income express concerns about the anticipated costs and disincentives to work, and many oppose payments without requirements to work or seek employment. As well, some critics suggest that, rather than a basic income, governments should increase expenditures on social services such as Pharmacare, dental coverage, childcare, housing, and public transit.

Existing federal programming

Provinces and territories have significant authority in the area of income support. Previous communication from ESDC has indicated that the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of working with provinces and territories to find solutions to common challenges, while stating that it is up to the provincial and territorial governments to make decisions around the design of social assistance systems and policies in their own jurisdictions.

Some Government of Canada initiatives have many of the features of a partial basic income for specific groups. This includes the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which provides income support to families raising children. For Canadian seniors, the Old Age Security (OAS) program plays a significant role in providing income security. OAS pensioners who receive little or no income, other than the OAS pension, are eligible for additional assistance through the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The GIS is income-tested to ensure that this additional assistance is provided to seniors most in need. Between 2015 and 2018, there was a decrease of 73,000 seniors living below Canada’s Official Poverty Line.

The government has made significant efforts to address the short-term needs of Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. These initiatives include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Recovery Benefit to help replace lost incomes, as well as one-time enhancements to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, Canada Child Benefit, and Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Ontario pilot project

In April 2017, the Ontario Government launched a 3-year basic income pilot project. The 4,000 participants were low-income people aged 18 to 64 in selected communities. Payments were based on 75 % of Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Measure (LIM). A single individual received $16,989 annually, less 50% of earned income, while couples received $24,027 less 50% of any combined earned income. People with disability received an additional $500 per month. Participants were also eligible to receive certain benefits including the CCB.

The Ontario Basic Income pilot tested a potential new approach to income support that would replace social assistance, and possibly other programming, if it were fully implemented.

The Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services announced in July 2018 that the basic income pilot would be cancelled. Payments to participants continued only until March 2019.

Legal action to overturn the Ontario government’s cancellation of the pilot was pursued. The Ontario Superior Court ruled against the challenge on February 14, 2019.

A separate class action lawsuit was launched against the Ontario government seeking damages due to the cancellation of its pilot. The plaintiffs, participants in the pilot, are seeking damages on various grounds, including breach of contract, negligence, breach of public law duty, and violation of section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (life, liberty, and security of the person).

On March 5, 2019, Basic Income Canada Network reported on a non-random survey of 424 participants in the Ontario pilot. Key findings include:

34% of participants found that the basic income supported employment by enabling transportation, childcare, or the ability to start or expand a business.

74% of respondents said they were able to make healthy food choices.

However, when the cancellation of the pilot was announced, 80% of respondents experienced previous problems returning, and 61% had to alter future plans.

In March 2020, economist Wayne Lewchuk of McMaster University and colleagues released a separate report, based on surveys and interviews with 217 former pilot participants in the Hamilton area. Findings of the study include for some participants, basic income was “transformational, fundamentally reshaping their living standards as well as their sense of self-worth and hope for a better future”; and a majority of respondents who were employed before the pilot continued to work while receiving a basic income. Some moved to better paid jobs.

Other provinces

Ernie Hudson, P.E.I.’s Minister of Social Development and Housing, has asked the federal government “to consider additional partnership, such as funding support” for a BI pilot project. The P.E.I. government also plans a “secure income” pilot with means-tested benefits for individuals with severe barriers to entering the workforce (it is narrower in scope than a basic income proposal).

The PEI Legislature’s Special Committee on Poverty has been examining BI. Committee members, including Minister Hudson, have shown an interest in BI and chair Trish Altass affirmed that the committee “will be putting forward recommendations around a fully costed basic income.”

The B.C. government is examining the concept of BI in the context of its poverty reduction efforts. An expert committee has been established and its report was scheduled to be issued at the end of December 2020. There is also a plan to issue a set of research papers.

In June 2016, the Experts Committee on Guaranteed Minimum Income was set up by the then-Government of Quebec to make recommendations on matters pertaining to income support, with the goal of exploring new approaches through which to fight poverty more effectively, promote social inclusion, and move toward introducing a guaranteed minimum income. In November 2017, the Committee released its final report which included a recommendation that the province establish a guaranteed minimum income.

In May 2018, An Act mainly to introduce a targeted income support program for persons with a severely limited capacity for employment was introduced and received assent. The initiative serves this group through the Social Solidarity Program.

The federal government has offered to share available data with provinces and territories interested in implementing BI pilots or programs within their jurisdictions, including tax, administrative, and survey data.

Other provincial and territorial governments have had little to say about basic income.

Cost of a national basic income

In 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimated the gross annual cost of a basic income modelled on Ontario’s pilot project and implemented across Canada: $76B for the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year. The PBO also calculated that $32B of existing federal support could be eliminated, leaving a net cost of $44B. As well, economist Evelyn Forget builds on the PBO’s estimate and calculates that if provincial income assistance expenditures could be reallocated and directed towards basic income expenses, the annual cost of a BI program could be cut to $23B. In any case, to offset costs, a basic income would almost certainly require modification or elimination of some programs and/or taxation changes.

On July 7, 2020, the PBO issued a separate report, which estimated the gross cost of a BI program for 6 months, starting in October 2020, at $47.5B if designed following the model of the Ontario pilot. The PBO also showed that lower phase-out rates, with more generous treatment of earned income to reduce disincentives to work, would lead to substantially higher gross costs (potentially as high as $98.1B for 6 months). The projected cost at this time is greater because of the high rates of unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) report

On January 23, 2020, BICN issued a report advocating the introduction of a basic income in Canada. The report proposed three options featuring benefits of $22,000 per year for individuals ($31,113 for couples in 2 cases), either targeted to Canadians with low incomes or universal with a significant portion of costs recovered through the tax system.

BICN’s report explains that each of the options could be paid for mainly through changes to the tax system, along with modifications to or elimination of certain existing federal and PT programs.

Examples of basic income pilots and measures in other countries

Basic income pilots are in various stages in a number of jurisdictions including the Netherlands, the California city of Stockton, and Germany.

In February 2019, the Government of Finland issued the preliminary evaluation of a 2-year pilot project with 2,000 unemployed participants receiving monthly payments of €560 (about $840 Canadian). The evaluation showed that these payments contributed to the health and happiness of the beneficiaries; however, there was no positive or negative impact on the likelihood of recipients participating in the labour force. The final evaluation, issued in May 2020, showed largely consistent results; recipients had slightly higher workforce participation than members of the control group.

Overall, other research and pilots, including a study in Manitoba in 1975 to 1978, indicate that basic income would have at most a small effect on work incentives, address poverty, and promote health and well-being.

Since 1982, Alaska has paid a partial basic income for all residents, usually about $1000 to $2000 U.S. per year.

Spain has recently taken steps towards implementing a partial basic income for lower-income households, with benefits for eligible individuals of €462 (about $700 Canadian), and higher benefits for households. Spanish authorities started to accept applications in June, 2020 and payments are expected to commence later in 2020.

27. Measures for Indigenous peoples

Issue

Status of Employment and Social Development Canada supports for Indigenous people.

Context

What is Employment and Social Development Canada doing to support Indigenous people during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Suggested response

  • The Government of Canada has a broad range of programs and initiatives in place to assist Indigenous people during these difficult times
  • In the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, we took immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians facing hardship through supports such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, flexibilities in our Indigenous programs meant they could continue to support Indigenous people and additional emergency funding was also provided to Indigenous homelessness services and Indigenous early learning and child care providers
  • We will continue to work with Indigenous partners to support their communities during these challenging times

Background

ESDC has a broad range of programs and initiatives under both Minister Qualtrough’s and Minister Hussen’s portfolios, aimed at improving the socio-economic outcomes of Indigenous Peoples while also supporting the federal government’s commitment to self-determination and reconciliation.

As an example, the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training program is delivered a by network of over 110 Indigenous service delivery organizations across the country, who are best positioned to assess community needs and ensure supports are meeting these needs. This includes everything from employment-related and career development assistance to wrap-around services such as living expenses and child care; coaching and mentorship; and disability-related supports.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, administrative flexibilities were extended in order to help ensure ESDC programs could continue to meet objectives and to assist in reducing the impacts of the pandemic on program partners and clients. Additional emergency funding was also provided in support of Indigenous homelessness and Indigenous early learning and child care service providers as part of the Government of Canada response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to ensure Indigenous people, were able to take full advantage of COVID-19 emergency benefits, extensive outreach and support for Indigenous communities was done through the Service Canada network of over 600 points of service across the country.

Ongoing engagement and collaboration is critical to ESDC’s strong relationship with Indigenous Peoples and several key activities reflect these efforts. This includes work underway as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy; the introduction of Engagement Protocol Agreements in 2019 to 2020; distinct approaches to relationships with Modern Treaty groups; and ongoing collaboration with First Nations on an on-reserve Labour Market Information and Skills Inventory Pilot to help improve community labour market knowledge and decision-making.

Prepared by

Chris Harback

Policy Advisor

Key contact

Jacqueline Thorne

Director, Horizontal Policy, Indigenous Affairs Directorate

Phone Number

Approved by

Name

Title

Phone Number

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO

28. National Student Loans Service Centre

Issue

NSLSC Call Centre

Context

The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) call centre has received an unprecedented number of phone calls since the last week of October, leading to unusually long wait times and dropped calls for student borrowers.

Suggested response

  • The National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) is experiencing unprecedented call volumes, which has led to connectivity issues
  • To address these challenges, we have increased the number of phone lines and are increasing agents to help students
  • We are working diligently to address these challenges. While we do so, students can be assured that there will be no negative financial impacts for those affected by this situation

Background

The National Student Loan Service Center (NSLSC) has been experiencing extremely high call volume (approximately 4 times the normal volume for this time of the year) since the last week of October. This is leading to long wait times and dropped calls.

This is mostly driven by clients needing assistance to access their online account due to department-wide security measures added to protect personal information as a result of the GCKey incident. Other factors include resumption of repayment after COVID Moratorium and the beginning of the peak period of borrowers entering repayment for the first time.

To compound the issue further, the first payment after the repayment moratorium for most borrowers fell on the weekend (Saturday, October 31). While as per standard practice, these funds would be withdrawn on Monday/Tuesday next week, some students mistakenly believed that NSLSC failed to process their payment and they would be reported to the credit bureau. This caused additional confusion and calls, and many of them could not reach an agent.

NSLSC has increased the number of available lines to its maximum capacity; however, students continue to have difficulty reaching an agent over the phone. The NSLSC continues to explore technical options with their telecommunication provider. NSLSC is looking at options to increase its capacity in the call centre, including hiring additional agents with existing security clearances from the federal government.

A message has been posted on the NSLSC website on October 30 to advise students that there would be no negative implications if they could not login to their account, or reach the call center and therefore, applied for Repayment Assistance or made their payments at a later date this month.

Prepared by

N/A

Key contact

Dominic Demers

Director, Program Delivery

613-222-4135

Approved by

Agata Frankowicz

A/Director General, Canada Student Loans Program

613-618-4780

Atiq Rahman

A/ADM, Learning

613 325 7924

Date

Date approved in SADMO / COO

29. HUMA Parliamentary background and analysis

Original title: Parliamentary Background and Analysis Appearance by the Honourable Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) Main Estimates 2020 to 2021 and Supplementary Estimates (B) 2020 to 2021 Wednesday, November 4, 2020 3:30 p. m. to 4:30 p.m.

1. Background

On February 27, 2020, the Government tabled the Main Estimates 2020 to 2021 in the House of Commons. At that time, HUMA extended invitations to ESDC Ministers to appear and testify. Due to the pandemic and the Prorogation of Parliament, the House of Commons has not concurred in the Main Estimates in accordance to the Standing Orders. With the return of Parliament in the fall, the Government re-tabled the Main Estimates as well as the Supplementary Estimates 2020 to 2021 (B).

Once the striking of Standing Committees took place and committees were formed, HUMA moved to adopt a work plan for its future business. The first item agreed upon was to invite the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion on both the Main Estimates and the Supplementary Estimates. The Committee also invited the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to appear for one hour on November 4. It is expected that the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Seniors will testify before HUMA later in November.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to Committee Members to question the Minister and scrutinize the planned government spending for the fiscal year prior to the introduction of the appropriation bill authorizing the necessary funds scheduled to take place no later than December 10.

2. Committee proceedings

HUMA is composed of 12 MPs. In the current minority Parliament, the Government does not hold the majority at HUMA. The newly elected Chair is Liberal MP Sean Casey and 2 Vice-Chairs CPC MP Peter Kent and BQ MP Louise Chabot. Mr. Kent and Ms. Chabot are Employment Critics.

Other members are:

  • Han Dong (Lib)
  • Rosemarie Falk (CPC)
  • Leah Gazan (NDP)
  • Wayne Long (Lib)
  • Jamie Schmale (CPC)
  • Ryan Turnbull (Lib)
  • Adam Vaughan (Lib)
  • Brad Vis (CPC)
  • Kate Young (Lib)

The Minister can deliver remarks for a duration of 5 minutes.

HUMA has agreed that questioning of witnesses would be allocated as follows:

The first round of questioning:

  • 6 minutes for the Conservative Party
  • 6 minutes for the Liberal Party
  • 6 minutes for the Bloc Quebecois
  • 6 minutes for the New Democratic Party

For the second and subsequent rounds of questioning:

  • 5 minutes for the Conservative Party
  • 5 minutes for the Liberal Party
  • 2.5 minutes for the Bloc Quebecois
  • 2.5 minutes for the New Democratic Party
  • 5 minutes for the Conservative Party
  • 5 minutes for the Liberal Party

3. Parliamentary and Media Analysis

In addition to questions specific to items included in the Estimates documents, the Minister may receive questions from opposition party members related to the following:

ESDC COVID response

ESDC has played a significant role in developing innovative measures to help Canadians financially through the pandemic. In general, these measures received support from opposition parties as they recognized the urgency in helping Canadians through this difficult situation. The NDP qualified the situation as unfair and unacceptable. Some NDP MPs may also revisit allegations of CERB fraud seeking assurance that the Government is moving forward on its promise to punish those who knowingly and wrongfully claimed CERB while ensuring those who made honest mistakes would not be penalized disproportionately.

Opposition members may ask the Minister to comment on media articles to the effect that the Canada Recovery Benefit is a “tax increase” for the self-employed, which can result in a disincentive to work.

Furthermore, opposition members may raise the issue of Basic Income as an alternative to the creation of new benefits, citing greater cost efficiencies.

Students

During the pandemic, the Government made a number of announcements to help students, including the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which were designed to provide assistance to students affected by the COVID-19 crisis. MPs from the CPC and the BQ argued at the time that the CESB could create a disincentive for students to look for summer employment while the CSSG was cancelled. In the context of HUMA appearance, it is expected that MPs from all opposition parties will question the Minister on government strategies to help student employment, seek details on the 2021 Canada Summer Job program, and probe on the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) and the awarding of a contribution agreement to the WE charity. Of note, the CSSG and WE are the focus of discussions at several standing committees. Motions for the Production of Papers on this issue and other related to COVID measures were also discussed at length at committees.

Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFW)

The TFW Program is currently in the media following the Report released on October 28 by the Caregivers Action Centre. The Report, which documents the experiences of hundreds of migrant workers during the pandemic, includes information regarding abuse suffered by these individuals. . The NDP may question the Minister on the pace of virtual inspections on migrant working conditions. In the Hill Times dated October 28, NDP MP Jenny Kwan said she took issue with ESDC’s description of wage problems and spacing of bunk-beds as a minor issue, given social distancing is the top public health recommendation to limit the spread of COVID virus. The NDP is an advocate of the principle “good enough to work, good enough to stay” and has advocated to provide foreign workers with permanent resident status.

C-220, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (compassionate care leave)

CPC MP Matt Jeneroux is scheduled to debate his Private Member’s Bill C-220 on Compassionate Care Leave in the House of Commons on November 6. It is possible that the CPC members may seek Government‘s support on the proposed Bill.

C-220 would be studied at HUMA if adopted at Second Reading. This bill is under the purview of Minister Tassi.

30. House of Commons HUMA Committee profile – October 2020

Original title: House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA)- Committee Profile (October 2020)

Committee profile

Sean Casey, Liberal Party, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Brief biography

Sean was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland but grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Saint Francis Xavier University. He worked for the New Brunswick Telephone Company before attending Dalhousie Law School, graduating in 1988. While attending Dalhousie, he was on the Student Union Executive and served as President of the Law Students Association. Upon graduating, Sean served as a summer student at what was then Scales Jenkins and McQuaid (now Stewart McKelvey) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

He continued to work with the firm and was named a partner at 29 years of age. In 2003, Sean left the firm to take a leadership role in the family business, commonly known as Paderno. That was also the year he ran his first of four marathons. In 2008, Sean rejoined Stewart McKelvey where he served as Regional Managing Partner. In 2011, Sean was elected the Member of Parliament of Charlottetown. He was re-elected in 2015, and again most recently in 2019. In Parliament, Sean has served most recently as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. He has previously served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

He is currently the Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Chair of the Liberal Atlantic Caucus.

Wayne Long, Liberal Party, Saint John — Rothesay, New Brunswick

Brief biography

Wayne Long is a member of the Saint John community with national and international business experience. Wayne currently serves as President of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and his efforts have helped turn the team into one of Canada’s most successful CHL hockey franchises winning the cherished Memorial Cup in 2011. That same year, Wayne was recognized with the John Horman Trophy, awarded to the Top Executive in the QMJHL.

Prior to his work with the Sea Dogs, Wayne was President of Scotiaview Seafood Inc. He was also a successful large-scale product manager with Stolt Sea Farm Inc. Wayne’s work has seen him travel across North America, negotiating contracts with national restaurant distributors, restaurant chains, and retail chains. He earned the North American Excellence in Sales and Marketing award twice. Wayne is a former Board Member for Destination Marketing and Salmon Marketing.

Wayne was born in the riding, has lived in the riding 44 years, and currently calls the area home alongside his wife, Denise, and their two children, Khristian and Konnor.

Han Dong, Liberal Party, Don Valley North, Ontario

Brief biography

Raised and educated in Toronto, Han Dong, his sister, and his parents immigrated to Canada from Shanghai in 1990. Growing up working at his parent’s 24-hour coffee shop, Han learned the value of hard work, family, and community which ultimately lead him to public service.

In 2014, Han was elected as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), gaining valuable legislative experience.

Han works with a Toronto based high-tech company dedicated to building safer communities with digital neighbourhood watch technology. He has also shown leadership in promoting Toronto's diversity, currently serving as the leader of the Chinatown Gateway Committee established by Mayor John Tory.

Han and his wife Sophie, are the proud parents of Emma and Matthew.

Ryan Turnbull, Liberal Party, Whitby, Ontario

Brief biography

Ryan Turnbull is a passionate change maker, experienced entrepreneur and social innovation that has devoted his life to advance ethical leadership, social responsibility, and build a more ethical economy and society. Ryan has raised his young family in the Durham Region for over five years and has deep roots in the Whitby community, where he recently moved.

Ryan has taken advanced leadership training and earned an MA in philosophy from Carleton University. Ryan has taught and developed curriculum at multiple post-secondary institutions around the world. Over the last decade, Ryan has led the development of a successful social innovation consulting firm that has had a direct social impact on the organizations, communities and the people they serve, in the Durham Region and across Ontario. Ryan has worked with over 250 charitable organizations, has advised government at all levels and has led over 350 impactful projects and his work has had a direct and positive influence on the quality of life for all segments of the population including children, youth, seniors, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, women, LGBTQ2S, and many others. Ryan has also served on the board of directors for Food Secure Canada and the Ethics Practitioners’ Association of Canada.

Adam Vaughn, Liberal Party, Spadina—Fort York, Ontario

Brief biography

Adam Vaughan was first elected to the House of Commons for Trinity-Spadina on June 30, 2014. On October 19, 2015, Adam was re-elected in the new riding of Spadina-Fort York, and was re-elected for a second full term on October 21, 2019.

Adam was elected twice to Toronto City Council before voters sent him to Ottawa to represent urban issues in Parliament. As an activist and as a journalist, Adam has played a significant role in the social and economic growth of Toronto. Adam Vaughan brings a lifetime of experience to federal politics. On City Council he played a major role in reforming the planning process in the city. He led successful campaigns to rebuild and revitalize existing public housing stock while initiating new policies to create family housing, supportive housing and new co-op housing programs in Toronto.

Together with residents, he spearheaded the revitalization of the Alexandra Park community: a significant neighbourhood in Toronto that will see new affordable housing, new commercial space, a re-built community and more parkland added to the downtown. Adam Vaughan’s record in office demonstrates strong support for the arts and housing in Toronto.

While on council, he championed the expansion of OCAD University’s campus and led the campaign to save Theatre Passe Muraille. He also served on the Boards of the Toronto Arts Council, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Harbourfront Centre and Heritage Toronto. Before entering politics, Adam was a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in municipal affairs for both the CBC and Citytv. He covered all three levels of government and has written about urban issues too.

In the 41st Parliament, Adam was appointed the Liberal Critic for Housing and Urban Affairs and worked with Justin Trudeau, Liberals, and local governments across the country to re-establish a national housing policy as part of a new urban agenda for Canada.

On December 2, 2015, Adam was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs. He served in this role until January 26, 2017, when he was appointed to the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs).

On February 1, 2017, Adam was appointed to chair an Advisory Committee on Homelessness composed of experts and stakeholders in the field of homelessness to support the renewal of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

He is currently Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development (Housing) and a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development, and Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Kate Young, Liberal Party, London West, Ontario

Brief biography

Kate Young was first elected Member of Parliament for London West in October 2015. She is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario). She has also served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport for Science and Sport, and for Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility (Accessibility); and Parliamentary Secretary for Transport.

Prior to being elected, Kate had a lengthy career in journalism and public relations in both the private and public sector. Best known as the first female news anchor at CFPL-TV in London, Kate was also the Manager of Public Affairs and Community Relations for the Thames Valley District School Board and Manager of Community Relations at TD Financial Group.

As a community organizer, Kate has volunteered much of her free time with organizations that directly impact London West, including the London Health Sciences Foundation Board of Directors, the Fanshawe College Board of Directors, and the Museum London Board of Directors. In 2007, London City Press Club named Kate Newsmaker of the Year for her outstanding service to the London community.

Kate has a diploma in Journalism (Broadcast) from Fanshawe College and is the proud mother of two children. She is also a grandma to twin boys. Kate grew up in London West, attended Westminster Secondary School, and continues to live in the riding with her partner Brian.

Rosemarie Falk, Conservative Party, Seniors Critic, Battlefords — Lloydminster, Saskatchewan

Brief biography

Rosemarie Falk is the federal Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster. She was first elected to the House of Commons in a federal by-election on December 11, 2017.

Under the leadership of the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Rosemarie serves as the Shadow Minister for Seniors. She is also a member the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Rosemarie was born and raised in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. Along with her husband Adam, she is now raising her three children there. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary. Throughout her work and volunteer experience, she has been actively engaged in her community working with some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Rosemarie is committed to being a strong voice for seniors, families, taxpayers and rural communities. She is in federal politics to help build a stronger Canada today and for the next generation.

Peter Kent, Conservative Party, Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Critic, Thornhill, Ontario

Brief biography

Peter Kent was first elected to the House of Commons representing Thornhill in 2008 and sworn into Cabinet as Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the Americas.

Re-elected in 2011, Peter was appointed Canada's Environment Minister and served in that capacity until July, 2013. In October, 2013 Peter was elected Chair of the House Standing Committee on National Defence. In October, 2015 Peter was again re-elected as MP for Thornhill and appointed Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs. In Summer, 2016 Peter was appointed as Critic of Foreign Affairs. In September, 2017 Peter was appointed Shadow Minister of Ethics.

Prior to his election to the House of Commons, Peter was a broadcast journalist, having spent more than 40 years working as a writer, reporter, producer, anchor and broadcast executive in Canada, the United States and around the world.

He covered stories that shaped the 20th Century, including momentous events such as the Vietnam and Cambodian conflicts and recovery, decades of conflict, uncertainty and hope in the Middle East, the Ethiopian famine, the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, South Africa’s transition from the apartheid era to Mandela’s presidency, the overthrow of Idi Amin, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

Peter won a number of awards over the course of his career, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award. He is also a member of the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame.

A passionate believer in community involvement, Peter actively supports a number of charitable organizations. He has served as a mentor with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and was on the Toronto cabinet of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He remains involved with the Royal Conservatory of Music, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Jamie Schmale, Conservative Party, Families, Children and Social Development Critic, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, Ontario

Brief biography

With a strong background in radio, journalism, and federal politics, Jamie has had the honour of representing Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock in Ottawa since 2015.

Prior to entering politics, Jamie attended Fenelon Falls High School and Loyalist College, graduating from the Radio Broadcasting program. Jamie started his career as News Anchor and later News Director for CHUM Media Kawarthas. Covering news, municipal politics, and sports for 91.9FM Radio CKLY in Lindsay, Jamie covered the horrific attacks of 9/11, the blackout of 2003, and the amalgamation of the 16 municipalities of Victoria County into what is now the single-tier City of Kawartha Lakes.

Raised in Bobcaygeon, he now calls Lindsay home. A professional, father, and volunteer, Jamie is actively involved in a number of local charities and not-for-profits.

In 2014, Jamie was nominated by the Conservative party to become the next Conservative candidate for the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock (HKLB) riding. Since first being elected, he has served on various Parliamentary Committees such as the Procedure and House Affairs, Natural Resources and up until prorogation in August 2020, was the Vice Chair of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee.

In 2019, Jamie was asked to serve as the Shadow Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations under previous Leader Andrew Scheer. He is now pleased to hold the role of Shadow Minister for Families, Children and Social Development under his friend, riding neighbour and current Leader, Erin O’Toole.

Brad Vis, Conservative Party, Housing Critic, Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, British Columbia

Brief biography

Born in Matsqui, British Columbia, Brad has deep roots in the Fraser Valley. The grandson of Dutch immigrants, he was raised on the values of hard work, sacrifice, integrity and determination.

Brad has spent the majority of his career working in government, politics and the agri-business sector. His professional background extends to the fields of communications, public relations and policy development.

Brad holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in Political Science from Carleton University.

Elected in 2019, Brad is honoured to represent all residents of Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon and is thrilled to work hard on their behalf. His mission is to raise issues and work to accomplish the goals of the riding in Ottawa rather than work as Ottawa’s representative in the riding.

Under the leadership of the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Brad serves as the Shadow Minister for Housing and is a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).

Brad is happily married to Kathleen and the father of Declyn and Nicholas.

Leah Gazan, New Democratic Party, Families, Children and Social Development Critic, Winnipeg Centre, Manitoba

Brief biography

Leah Gazan was elected as the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre in October 2019. She is currently the NDP Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development, as well as the Deputy Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. Gazan is a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament. She recently introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-232, The Climate Emergency Action Act, which recognizes the right to a healthy environment as a human right.

As an educator, advisor, and media contributor, Leah Gazan has been deeply engaged with issues and organizing in Winnipeg’s core for nearly three decades. Gazan has spent her life working for human rights on the local, national, and international stage. Her recent success includes organizing and traveling across the country to push Bill C-262, the Indigenous Human Rights Act.

Her contributions in Winnipeg have both shaped our understanding of our collective struggles and strengths, and helped move us towards justice. As president of the Social Planning Council between 2011- 2015, Gazan organized and pushed policy in support of an end to poverty, addressing violence against women and girls, finding solutions for housing insecurity and homelessness, ensuring fair wages, community-based actions addressing addictions, and proper supports for mental health.

Gazan was a prominent Winnipeg lead during Idle No More, articulating the movement to the Winnipeg public. Gazan also co-founded the #WeCare campaign aimed at building public will to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. Gazan is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory.

Louise Chabot, Bloc Québecois, Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Critic, Thérèse-De Blainville, Quebec

Brief biography

Louise Chabot, born in 1955 in Saint-Charles-de-Bellechasse, Quebec, is a Quebec trade unionist and politician. She was president of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) from 2012 to 2018. This organization represents nearly 200,000 members, including 130,000 in the education and early childhood sector. She coordinated a major unionization project that resulted in the grouping of more than 15,000 family child care providers, a first in the Canadian union movement. On October 21, 2019, she was elected Member of Parliament for the riding of Thérèse-de-Blainville under the banner of the Bloc Québécois.

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