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, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, met virtually with small and medium-sized enterprises from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to discuss investments in businesses and broadband from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. They discussed the Government of Canada’s investments to support workers and employers, as well as plans to grow and strengthen rural economies like those in the North and the important role of rural Canada in the recovery.
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 many—especially small businesses—fighting to survive. Budget 2021 is a 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.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada acted swiftly to support and protect Canadians and businesses, adapting its response as the pandemic evolved. The government’s broad suite of support measures has protected jobs and helped families and businesses across Canada. More than eight of every ten dollars spent to fight COVID-19 and support Canadians continues to come from the federal government.
From extending emergency measures like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to incentivizing rehiring in recovery through a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, Budget 2021 includes significant investments to support businesses in getting online and hiring back workers, commits to decisive action on lowering credit card fees, and improves support for exporters.
Budget 2021 also includes an additional $1 billion over six years for the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), bringing the total available through the UBF to $2.75 billion, to improve high-speed Internet in rural and remote areas of Canada.
The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting Canadians’ health and safety, particularly given the aggressive variants of the virus during this third wave of the pandemic. Vaccine rollout is under way across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory. Budget 2021 invests in Canada’s biomanufacturing 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 towards a robust recovery. 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, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.