Minister Miller highlights Indigenous economic development investments in Budget 2021

News release

April 30, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Indigenous Services Canada

Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada's plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.

Today, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller, met with Indigenous partners from Atlantic Canada to discuss Indigenous economic investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience.

The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women, and racialized Canadians. For businesses, it has been a two-speed recession, with some finding ways to prosper and grow, but with many businesses—especially small businesses—fighting to survive. Budget 2021 is an historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada's future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Indigenous communities and businesses. Indigenous communities are often in rural and remote areas and the success of Indigenous-led businesses, including tourism businesses, is critically important to local jobs and economies. To ensure Indigenous businesses are part of the recovery and that their economies experience long-term growth, Indigenous-led businesses need access to support.

To ensure the long-term resilience of Indigenous economies, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $117 million in 2021–22 to renew the Indigenous Community Business Fund. This will ensure that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities can continue to provide services and support jobs for their members through collectively owned businesses and microbusinesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget 2021 also proposes $33.4 million in 2021–22 to support the First Nations Finance Authority's pooled borrowing regime.

Budget 2021 also proposes investments and measures to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, extend the Indigenous Business Initiative, and ensure that women are empowered in the economic recovery.

The Government of Canada's top priority remains protecting Canadians' health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. Vaccine rollout is underway across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory. Budget 2021 invests in Canada's bio-manufacturing and life sciences sector to rebuild domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, and has a plan to put in place national standards for long-term care and mental health services.

Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and toward a robust recovery. It is a plan to drive economic growth, a plan to secure women's place in the workforce, and a plan to offer each and every child in Canada the best start in life. This plan aims to reduce fees for parents by 50 per cent on average by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2025–26 for all regulated child care spaces in Canada. It proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and to make investments to create jobs and help businesses across the economy come roaring back. It will support almost 500,000 new training and work opportunities, including 215,000 opportunities for youth; support businesses in our most affected sectors, such as tourism and arts and culture; and accelerate investment and digital transformation at small and medium-sized businesses. Budget 2021 is a plan that puts Canada on track to meet its commitment to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year.

Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action to support people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.

Quotes

"Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are an essential part of Canada's economic recovery from COVID-19. We will continue to work with Indigenous partners in the Atlantic region, but also across Canada, to ensure that Indigenous businesses have the resources and tools necessary to build back better and to help ensure that our future will be healthier, safer, and more prosperous for all Canadians."

Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures include the following:

    • Closing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; supporting healthy, safe, and prosperous Indigenous communities; and advancing meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation through an historic investment of over $18 billion, including proposed investments of:
      • $117 million in 2021–22 to renew the Indigenous Community Business Fund. This will ensure First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities can continue to provide services and support jobs for their members through collectively owned businesses and microbusinesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • $33.4 million in 2021–22 to support the First Nations Finance Authority pooled borrowing regime as follows:
        • $32.5 million to establish a First Nations Finance Authority Emergency Fund to provide repayable financial support for borrowing members encountering difficulties due to COVID-19 or future widespread economic shocks.
        • $925,000 to support the First Nations Finance Authority’s launch of the Commercial Paper Program, which will lower interest rates for First Nations borrowers so that they can secure more manageable funding.
      • $42 million over three years, starting in 2021–22, to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program.
      • $2.4 million in 2021–22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
      • $22 million over three years, starting in 2021–22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative by providing tools, services, and resources to increase the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs. This funding would support NACCA in achieving its target of increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs who access financing through Aboriginal Financial Institutions by 50 per cent.
    • Extending the Indigenous Business Initiative to June 30, 2021, to support Indigenous businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation businesses.
    • Extending emergency supports to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through to recovery, including:
      • Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.
      • Extending important income support for Canadians such as a 12-week extension of the Canada Recovery Benefit and 4-week extension of the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
    • Supporting small and medium-sized businesses through several transformative programs, such as:
      • A new Canada Digital Adoption Program that will assist over 160,000 businesses with the cost of new technology. This program will provide these businesses with the advice they need to get the most of new technology, with the help of 28,000 young Canadians who will be trained to work with them.
      • Allowing Canadian small businesses to fully expense up to $1.5 million in capital investments in a broad range of assets, including digital and intellectual property. This represents an additional $2.2 billion investment in the growth of Canada’s entrepreneurs over the next five years.
    • Revitalizing Canada’s tourism sector through $1 billion to help tourism businesses recover and support festivals and cultural events that provide jobs and growth in many of our cities and communities.
    • Supporting women, Black Canadians, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who face barriers to launching and owning businesses through $300 million to enhance initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

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Contacts

Media may contact:

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Services
(613) 407-9474

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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