The Trudeau government has initiated legislation that will implement the budget introduced last week.. The Liberals are calling on opposition MPs to pass it as soon as possible in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Deputy PM Freeland introduced Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021, and other measures in Parliament today.
The provisions of the bill include key measures that:
Provide predictable funding to establish a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
Bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the third wave of the virus and towards recovery, including:
The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021; and
The extension of important income support for Canadians such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
Increase Old Age Security (OAS) for seniors age 75 and older to provide them with better financial security.
Enhance the Canada Workers Benefit, which will mean more money for low-income Canadians, support about 1 million more Canadians, and lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty.
Enhance Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
Establish a $15 federal minimum wage.
Extend the waiver of interest on federal student and apprentice loans to March 2023.
Establish the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers.
Enhance the Canada Small Business Financing Program through amendments to the Canada Small Business Financing Act, including broader eligibility and increased loan limits to facilitate greater access to financing for small businesses.
Provide an emergency top up of $5 billion for province and territories – specifically $4 billion through the Canada Health Transfer to help provinces and territories address immediate health care system pressures and $1 billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country.
Provide $2.2 billion to address short-term infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities. The funds would flow through the federal Gas Tax Fund, proposed to be renamed as the Canada Community-Building Fund.
On the bill, Freeland has said: “This budget is about finishing the fight against COVID-19. It’s about healing the wounds left by the COVID-19 recession,” she said. “And it’s about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days — and decades — to come.”
The budget will also extend COVID-19 support programs while creating new ones. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) will be extended whereas a new programs, known as the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, is to be enacted to help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers.
The Prime Minister is urging all parties to get together to pass the bill as quickly as they can: “With this legislation we are setting the foundation for strong economic growth, and these measures will help you get through what is hopefully the last stretch of this pandemic,” Trudeau stated today. “This is about how we set ourselves up for a stronger, faster recovery that includes everyone.”
Freeland also echoed Trudeau's demand in appealing to the other parties to support the bill and pass the budget: “The legislation takes significant steps to drive future growth investing in our social infrastructure and our physical infrastructure, and in our human capital and our physical capital,” she said. “This budget will make a measurable difference in the lives of millions of Canadians."