Platform commitments and key messages – October 26, 2021

From the platform: Forward. For Everyone, September 2021

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Platform commitments

Finishing the fight against COVID-19

Mandatory vaccination

  • Work with employers in Crown corporations and federally regulated workplaces to ensure that vaccination is prioritized for workers in these sectors

Increasing rural and underserved communities' access to health care

  • Expand the number of family doctors and primary health teams in rural communities, by increasing by 50% (from $40,000 up to $60,000 over 5 years) the maximum debt relief that family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurse practitioners or nurses are eligible for under the Canada Student Loans forgiveness program
  • Expand the list of professionals eligible for forgiveness to include dentists, pharmacists, dental hygienists, midwives, social workers, psychologists, teachers and early childhood educators so that rural communities have greater access to the full suite of health and social service providers they need.

so that rural communities have greater access to the full suite of health and social service providers they need.

A comprehensive plan for mental health care across Canada

  • Undertake a comprehensive review of access to the Disability Tax Credit, Canada Pension Plan-Disability and other federal benefits and programs to ensure that they are available to people experiencing mental health challenges
  • Include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety under the Canada Labour Code and require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury

Safer, better long-term care

  • Work collaboratively with provinces and territories, respecting their jurisdiction, to continue supporting seniors with an investment of $9 billion over 5 years, to support safer conditions for seniors and improved wages and working conditions for personal support workers.

Safer conditions in homes

  • Improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds
  • Implement strict infection prevention and control measures, including through more provincial and territorial facility inspections for long-term care homes
  • Develop a safe long-term care act collaboratively to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live

Better working conditions for personal support workers

  • Work with the provinces and territories to raise wages for personal support workers, including a guaranteed minimum wage of at least $25 per hour and train up to 50,000 new personal support workers.

10 days of paid sick leave

  • Introduce amendments to the Canada Labour Code to provide 10 days of paid sick leave for all federally regulated workers so that no one has to choose between going to work sick or paying their bills
  • Convene provinces and territories to develop a national action plan to legislate sick leave across the country, while respecting provincial-territorial jurisdiction and the unique needs of small business owners

School nutrition and healthy eating

  • Work with our provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners and stakeholders to develop a National School Food Policy and work toward a national school nutritious meal program with a $1 billion investment over 5 years.

Building a better Canada, for everyone

A new rent-to-own program

  • Introduce a new rent-to-own program to help make it easier for renters to get on the path toward home ownership while renting
  • Create a stream for current renters and landlords, particularly those in condominium settings, to immediately enter into a rent-to-own agreement
  • Commit $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit and co-op partners

A new tax-free First Home Savings Account

  • Introduce a tax-free First Home Savings Account, which will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 toward their first home and to withdraw it tax-free to put toward their first home purchase, with no requirement to repay it.

A more flexible First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

  • Introduce changes to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which allows middle-class families looking to buy their first home to reduce the size of the mortgage they require and reduce their monthly housing costs. The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is currently structured as a shared-equity mortgage, where, upon sale, the government incurs a portion of any increase (or decrease) in a home's value. The new changes would allow a choice between the current shared-equity approach or a loan that is repayable only at the time of sale.

Reducing closing costs for first-time buyers

  • Double the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, from $5,000 to $10,000.

Reducing monthly mortgage costs

  • Reduce the price charged by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on mortgage insurance by 25%
  • Increase the insured mortgage cut-off from $1 million to $1.25 million, and index this to inflation, to better reflect today's home prices

Help cities accelerate housing construction

  • Invest $4 billion in a new Housing Accelerator Fund, which will grow the annual housing supply in the country's largest cities every year, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024 to 2025
  • Help speed up the time it takes to build more homes by investing in e-permitting technology and by helping communities streamline the planning process
  • Work with municipalities to identify vacant or underused property that should be converted to housing on the principle of use it or lose it

Build and revitalize more affordable housing

  • Permanently increase funding to the National Housing CoInvestment Fund by a total of $2.7 billion over 4 years, more than double its current allocation.

Convert empty office space into housing

  • Double the existing Budget 2021 commitment to $600 million to support the conversion of empty office and retail space into market-based housing, including converting space in the federal portfolio and commercial buildings
  • Work with municipalities to create a fast-track system for permits to allow faster conversion of existing buildings, helping maintain the vibrancy of urban communities

Help bring different generations under one roof

  • Introduce a new Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit to help families add a secondary unit to their home for an immediate or extended family member. Families will be able to claim a 15% tax credit for up to $50,000 in renovation and construction costs, saving up to $7,500.

End chronic homelessness

  • Appoint a new federal housing advocate to ensure that the federal government's work toward eliminating chronic homelessness, as well as other housing commitments, are fulfilled
  • Move forward with investments in Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy to support communities across the country

A Home Buyers' Bill of Rights

  • Create a national Home Buyers' Bill of Rights so that the process of buying a home is fair, open and transparent
  • Convene federal and provincial regulators to develop a national action plan to increase consumer protection and transparency in real estate transactions

Keep rent fair

  • Stop "renovictions" by deterring unfair rent increases that fall outside of a normal change in rent.

Curb speculation and house flipping

  • Establish an anti-flipping tax on residential properties, requiring properties to be held for at least 12 months.

Crack down on foreign ownership

  • Ban foreign money from purchasing a non-recreational, residential property in Canada for the next 2 years, unless the purchase is confirmed to be for future employment or immigration in the next 2 years
  • Extend Canada's first-ever national tax on non-resident, non-Canadian owners of vacant, underused housing, announced to begin on January 1, 2022, to include foreign-owned vacant land within large urban areas

Stop excessive profits in the financialization of housing

  • Review the tax treatment of large corporate owners (for example, real estate investment trusts).
  • Put in place policies to curb excessive profits in this area, while protecting small independent landlords
  • Review the down payment requirements for investment properties

Protect the stability and security of the housing market

  • Establish the Canada Financial Crimes Agency as Canada's first-ever national law enforcement agency solely dedicated to investigating and combatting all forms of major financial crime
  • Increase the power of federal regulators to respond to housing price fluctuations and ensure a more stable Canadian housing market

$10-a-day child care for families

  • Reduce fees for child care by 50% in the next year
  • Deliver $10-a-day child care within 5 years or less
  • Build 250,000 new high-quality child care spaces
  • Hire 40,000 more early childhood educators
  • Finalize agreements with all remaining provinces and territories
  • Work with the province of Quebec to build on its world-class, affordable child care system, improve working conditions for educators, and create more spaces for families
  • Work with Indigenous partners to ensure that Indigenous children have access to culturally appropriate, affordable, high-quality early learning and child care
  • Enact federal child care legislation to strengthen and protect a Canada-wide child care system

Giving new parents a break on student loans

  • Let new parents pause repayment of their federal student loans until their youngest child reaches the age of 5. This would also include new parents who have graduated but still have not finished paying off their loans.

Support for low-income seniors

  • Move forward with boosting Old Age Security by 10% next year for seniors 75 and over
  • Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement by $500 for single seniors and $750 for couples, starting at age 65

Increase the Canada Pension Plan survivors' benefit by 25%

  • Work with all provinces and territories over the next year to increase the support that survivors, many of whom are women, receive by increasing the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan survivor's benefit by 25%.

Helping seniors and people with disabilities live at home

  • Establish an expert panel to provide recommendations for establishing an Aging at Home Benefit.

A 1-800 number to help seniors access government support

  • Introduce a 1-800 help line for seniors to provide a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits.

Permanently eliminating interest on Canada Student Loans

  • Permanently eliminate the federal interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans to support young Canadians who choose to invest in post-secondary education.

More help to repay student loans

  • Increase the repayment assistance threshold to $50,000 for Canada Student Loan borrowers who are single.

A more resilient economy

Better support for low-income workers

  • Continue to expand the Canada Workers Benefit to support about 1 million additional Canadians in low-wage jobs, helping them return to work and increasing benefits for Canada's most vulnerable, who will be eligible for up to $1,400 a year
  • Ensure that Canadians who qualify are automatically enrolled, and that the benefit is delivered on a quarterly basis
  • Continue to ensure that secondary earners—mostly women—can exclude up to $14,000 of their working income when income-testing the Canada Workers Benefit, so that families can receive up to $2,400

An Employment Insurance system that works for everyone

  • Introduce a new Employment Insurance (EI) benefit for self-employed Canadians, delivered through the tax system, that would provide unemployment assistance comparable to EI and lasting for as many as 26 weeks. This could provide support of nearly $15,500 when it is needed most
  • Self-employed Canadians seeking to access this benefit would only be responsible to contribute the portion they would normally pay if they were a salaried employee
  • Strengthen rights for workers employed by digital platforms so that they are entitled to job protections under the Canada Labour Code
  • Establish new provisions in the Income Tax Act to ensure that this work counts toward EI and the Canada Pension Plan, while also making these digital platforms pay associated contributions as any employer would
  • Move forward with a stronger and more inclusive EI system that addresses gaps made obvious during COVID-19

Career Insurance Benefit

  • Establish an EI Career Insurance Benefit. This benefit will be available to people who have worked continuously for the same employer for 5 or more years and are laid off when the business closes. The Career Insurance Benefit will kick in after regular EI ends, providing an additional 20% of insured earnings in the first year following the layoff, and an extra 10% in the second year. This will give workers up to almost $16,900 over 2 years, providing significant help at a difficult time.

Making workplaces fairer, for everyone

  • Provide up to 5 new paid leave days for federally regulated employees who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth, which can happen in up to 1 in 5 pregnancies
  • Strengthen provisions in the Canada Labour Code to better support women who need to be temporarily re-assigned to other duties during pregnancy and while breast-feeding
  • Create a fairer collective bargaining process by introducing legislation to prohibit the use of replacement workers when a union employer in a federally regulated industry has locked out employees
  • Work with federally regulated employers and labour groups to co-develop a new policy for the right to disconnect so that workers can disconnect at the end of a workday without worrying about job security and restore healthy work-life balance

Doubling the Union Training and Innovation Program

  • Double the Union Training and Innovation Program to $50 million a year to support more apprenticeship training opportunities and additional partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada, and target more participation from women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians
  • Continue to support the new Apprenticeship Service which will connect 55,000 first-year apprentices in Red Seal trades with opportunities at small and medium-sized employers

Matching workers with jobs

  • Establish a Trusted Employer system to streamline the application process for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortages that cannot be filled by Canadian workers
  • Grow and improve the Global Talent Stream program by simplifying permit renewals, upholding the 2-week processing time, and establishing an employer hotline, to allow Canadian companies to attract and hire highly skilled workers
  • Continue to work with provinces, territories, and regulatory bodies to improve foreign credential recognition
  • Make it easier for women and vulnerable groups to access training by requiring businesses supported through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program to include wrap-around supports

An equal Canada, for everyone

Promoting diversity in corporate Canada

  • Adapt and apply the Canada Business Corporations Act diversity requirements to federally regulated financial institutions, applying an intersectional lens to ensure diversity among senior ranks of the financial sector
  • Move forward with requiring Crown corporations to implement gender and diversity reporting, beginning next year

Free menstrual products

  • Provide free tampons and pads in federally regulated workplaces.

Supporting Black Canadian communities

  • Move forward in supporting and empowering Black-led organizations that are at the heart of their communities by committing $200 million to a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. This fund will be administered independently by Black Canadians and will help support Black-led and Black-serving community organizations.

Supporting Black researchers

  • Provide funding of $30 million over 5 years to help promising graduate students, to support the mentorship and development of younger researchers, and to increase opportunities for Black Canadians in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Pathways to parenthood, for everyone

  • Move forward on providing adoptive parents an additional 15 weeks of leave to make sure they get the same level of support to care for their children as other parents.

Introduce a disability benefit

  • Reintroduce a disability benefit act which will create a direct monthly payment, the Canada Disability Benefit, for low-income Canadians with disabilities aged 18 to 64

Developing an employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities

  • Develop and implement an employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities. This strategy will be focused on supports for workers and employers and creating inclusive and welcoming workplaces. It will also include an investment in the Ready, Willing and Able inclusive hiring program to support individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders
  • Create a new stream of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program to support 5,000 opportunities a year for young people with disabilities to gain the skills, experience, and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market and build successful careers

Moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous early learning and child care

  • Move forward on building an Indigenous early learning and child care system that meets the needs of Indigenous families, wherever they live
  • Ensure that more Indigenous families have access to high-quality programming
  • Create 3,300 new child care spaces
  • Invest in Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities
  • Continue to support before- and after-school care for First Nations children on-reserve

Better housing for Indigenous Peoples

  • Invest a further $2 billion in Indigenous housing for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation, with over half of the funding available by the upcoming summer construction period
  • Co-develop a new Indigenous Urban, Rural, and Northern Housing Strategy with Indigenous partners and organizations that will be a stand-alone companion to the National Housing Strategy, supported by a $300-million initial investment
  • Co-develop and fund Canada's first-ever National Indigenous Housing Centre, through which Indigenous people will fully oversee federal Indigenous housing programs once fully realized
  • Continue to support the establishment of Indigenous-led institutions in housing and infrastructure, such as the First Nations Infrastructure Institute, that assists First Nations with their infrastructure needs

A stronger Canada

Help for the world's most vulnerable people

  • Continue to increase Canada's international development assistance every year until 2030 to realize the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Ending veteran homelessness

  • Move forward on launching a pilot program next year that will provide rent supplements and wrap-around supports to homeless veterans, so that they can get the housing and services they need.

Disability statement

  • Build on previous investments through the implementation of the first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan, in consultation with the disability community
  • Commit to making permanent funding to support services that ensure equitable access to reading and other published works for Canadians with print disabilities so that more Canadians are able to fully participate in these activities
  • Proceed with the timely and ambitious implementation of the Accessible Canada Act and the harmonization of accessibility standards across Canada
  • Work across federal departments and agencies to uniformly adopt the definition of "disability" in the Accessible Canada Act
  • Adopt a consistent approach to disability inclusion across the federal government
  • Put a disability lens on decision-making that specifically includes child care and infrastructure commitments
  • Assume a more prominent role within the international disability inclusion community

Key messages

I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to serve the people of Canada as Minister of _______________.

The Government took immediate and significant action to support Canadians when the pandemic hit and will continue to do so.

As we deal with the health and economic challenges of the pandemic, we will continue to invest in Canadians.

With renewed attention on what Canadians value most, we have an opportunity to build back better toward a society that is more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable.

I will get right to work to implement our agenda.

I also look forward to working with my provincial counterparts and stakeholders across the country to provide Canadians with the tools they need to have a real and fair chance at success in their future.

Key facts

  • ESDC spent $144.4 billion in 2019 to 2020 to deliver policies, programs and services, representing 37% of total federal government spending
  • 93.6% ($135.2 billion) of ESDC expenditures provided direct benefits to Canadians, corresponding to 6.15% of Canada's gross domestic product. A further 2.6% ($3.7 billion) was transferred to provinces and territories
  • ESDC is the fourth-largest federal government department and has more than 35,000 employees working across Canada
  • There are 317 Service Canada Centres and hundreds more points of service

How ESDC serves Canadians

  • Social development
    • Increase inclusion and opportunities for Canadians to participate in their communities
  • Pensions and benefits
    • Assist Canadians in maintaining income for retirement
    • Provide financial benefits to surviving spouses and to people with disabilities and their families
  • Learning, skills development and employment
    • Help Canadians access post-secondary education and obtain the skills and training to participate in a changing labour market
    • Provide supports to those who are temporarily unemployed
  • Working conditions and workplace relations
    • Promote safe, healthy, fair and inclusive working conditions and cooperative workplace relations
  • Information and service delivery
    • Provide information to the public on Government of Canada programs
    • Provide services for government departments and other partners

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