The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated spring budget on Monday, April 19, 2021, titled A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. Proposing $101.4 billion in new spending, the plan aims to support Canadian families and businesses during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay out a strategy for a post-pandemic economic recovery, […]
The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated spring budget on Monday, April 19, 2021, titled A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. Proposing $101.4 billion in new spending, the plan aims to support Canadian families and businesses during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay out a strategy for a post-pandemic economic recovery, and make Canada’s economy greener.
In the days ahead, the budget will be debated in Parliament, which may lead to changes being introduced by the minority Liberal government.
Key elements of the 2021 Budget, of interest to Local 793 members:
Infrastructure Investment: The budget highlighted few new infrastructure investments initiatives but highlighted over $13 billion on various projects including:
- $2.5 billion investment and $1.3 billion reallocation in existing funding to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units.
- $491.2 million over six years, starting in 2021-22, to VIA Rail Canada for infrastructure investments that would support the overall success of the high frequency rail project between Toronto and Quebec City.
- $6.0 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities.
- $35 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to the National Capital Commission to support the acquisition and upkeep of federal assets, green infrastructure, and spaces in the National Capital Region.
- $1.9 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund (Infrastructure work on airports, ports, railway, transportation facilities and access roads).
- $1 billion over six years, starting in 2021-22, to the Universal Broadband Fund to support a more rapid rollout of broadband projects in collaboration with provinces and territories and other partners.
- Infrastructure Canada will conduct Canada’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment with an investment of $22.6 million over four years. This assessment would help identify needs and priorities for Canada’s built environment.
EI Changes and Recovery Benefits Extensions to Support Workers: The budget proposed $3.9 billion over three years for a suite of legislative changes to make EI more accessible for Canadians over the coming year while the job market begins to improve. Additionally, proposed was up to 12 added weeks of the Canada Recovery Benefit, for a maximum of 50 weeks. The first four of these additional 12 weeks will be paid at $500 per week and the remaining 8 weeks of this extension will be paid at a lower amount of $300 per week claimed, available up until September 25, 2021.
Investments in Indigenous Communities: More than $18 billion over the next five years, to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities. These investments will support continued action on infrastructure and clean water.
Increased Skills Training: A proposed $470 million over three years, to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish a new Apprenticeship Service.
- The service will help 55,000 first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades connect with employment opportunities.
- Employers would be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for all first-year apprenticeship opportunities to pay for upfront costs such as salaries and training.
- To boost diversity in the construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades, the employer incentive will be doubled to $10,000 for employers who hire those underrepresented, including women, racialized Canadians, and persons with disabilities.
Community Workforce Development Program: A proposed $55 million over three years for a Community Workforce Development Program. The program will support communities to develop local plans that identify high potential growth organizations and connect their employers with training providers to develop and deliver training and work placements to upskill and reskill jobseekers to fill jobs in demand.
Other significant budget highlights include the following:
National Child Care System: A proposed $30 billion over the next five years to ensure that all families have access to high-quality, affordable, and flexible early learning and child-care no matter where they live. Part of this plan is to lower child-care cost to an average of $10/day within the next 5 years.
Mental Health: A proposed $45 million over two years to help develop national mental health service standards as well as to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized Canadians.
Substance Use and Addictions Program: On top of the $66 million invested in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, a proposed $116 million over the next two years for the Substance Use and Addictions Program to support a range of innovative approaches to harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level.
Rebuild Vaccine Development/Production: Canada’s bio-manufacturing and life-sciences sector will be rebuilt with $2.2 billion towards national capacity in bio-manufacturing and vaccine development and production.
The Federal Budget 2021 Click Here
Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) Click Here