Dear friends and neighbours,
A year ago, plans for the federal Budget were side-lined by the emergency we all faced when COVID-19 began spreading. The spending needed since last March to fight the virus and protect Canadians was high and still is.
Federal emergency measures allowed our government to soften the economic impact of COVID-19 on Canadians and businesses, preventing many potential bankruptcies, evictions, and job losses. The blow to the overall Canadian economy, while very severe, was quickly turned around and most, though not all, sectors of our economy have already seen a substantial rebound.
Although vaccinations are now happening at an ever-increasing pace, the pandemic is not yet behind us and is still having devastating impacts. Budget 2021 has three main priorities:
Budget 2021 is 319 pages long (plus annexes)! The following Budget 2021 highlights can help you link easily to some measures that might interest you.
- Finish the fight against COVID, which means providing money for vaccines, health care and continued support for those affected financially;
- Accelerate our economic recovery by providing support where COVID has hit the hardest, including women’s jobs, students and young people, small businesses, and the arts, culture and tourism sectors; and
- Work to build a prosperous, fairer, more innovative and greener future including investing to generate a million new jobs in Canada’s green transition, innovation, digital transformation, and social well-being sectors, including seniors.
A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience
Read though Overview: 5. A Responsible Fiscal Plan, a snapshot of how Budget 2021 is a prudent plan that sets out a new fiscal anchor and reduces federal debt as a share of the economy over the medium term. Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 49.2 per cent by 2025-26, and the deficit to reach 1.1 per cent of GDP that same year.
Finishing the Fight against COVID 19
Browse the many initiatives in Section 1. Keeping Canadians Healthy and Safe aimed at getting Canadians vaccinated, helping older seniors, supporting mental health, and more.
Early Learning and Child Care
Find Chapter 3.1. Women in the Economy to learn about our transformative investment into a Canada-wide Early Learning and Childcare Plan, which aims to reduce the average fees for regulated childcare by 50% by 2022, and drop them to $10 per day by 2026. In Vancouver the yearly cost of daycare for two children can be more than the cost of buying a new car! It’s past time that changed.
While you’re in Chapter 3, find out more about our investments in skills training and creating opportunities for Canada’s young people. And in Chapter 4, there’s lots to read about how the Budget will help Canadian businesses grow and succeed.
A Green and Sustainable Future
Explore Section 5.6. Protecting Nature for details about the $647 million over 5 years dedicated to preserving wild Pacific salmon stocks. On your way there you will find information about our investments to conserve nature, and develop a clean economy and jobs through bold climate action.
More Affordable Housing
Surf Section 6.1. A Place to Call Home for information about the additional $2.5 billion over seven years to CMHC to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians adding a minimum of 4,500 new affordable units to Canada’s housing supply. Chapter 6 also has many initiatives aiming at building stronger communities, the essential fabric of this great country!
You’ll find lots more in the Budget 2021 document, but that’s a good start!
Reminder to be alert to Tax Scams and Financial Frauds!
Tax season is prime time for phishing scams and frauds, with cybercriminals especially active this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you receive a call or online message claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency or any other government, financial institution, or service provider, never reveal personal information. Please don’t reply to the message or click on any links. In the case of a phone call, hang up. You can always double-check the validity of the claims made by directly contacting the organization in question.
In Case You Missed It:
- Millenennium Line-UBC Extension: Translink is consulting with Vancouver residents on the possible future expansion of the Millennium Line subway to UBC. Find out more and provide your input here.
- On April 14th, our government announced a range of strengthened measures to protect the iconic and threatened Southern Resident killer whales.
- On Earth Day, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s new ambitious 2030 climate target of a 40-45% reduction! For those interested in how emission reductions are reported, check out the recent National Inventory Report on past emissions trends in Canada. The report shows that our climate plan is starting to bend down the previous dangerous upward curve of Canada’s emissions.
The month of May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich history, diversity and contributions of Asian Canadians. Please check out the discussion at my recent Anti-Asian Racism Town Hall to learn more about Vancouver’s unfortunate rise in anti-Asian hate crimes over the last year and how you can help.
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
Minister of Digital Government
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to mail your responses to the polls and questions in my paper-based newsletters. I read your all feedback and learn from it!