Canada Unveils New Budget for COVID-19 Relief

The federal government of Canada revealed a new budget of C$101.4 billion (US$81 billion) aimed at fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to stimulate an economic recovery.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the government’s first budget in over two years at the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 19.

“This budget is about finishing the fight against COVID-19. It’s about healing the wounds left by the COVID-19 recession. And it’s about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days — and decades — to come,” Freeland said.

Over half of the budget will go to boosting COVID-19 recovery measures, including wage subsidies and programs to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Freeland pledged C$100 billion (US$80 billion) over three years to support the country’s economic recovery, including investing C$17.6 billion for environmental recovery and investing C$2.5 billion (US$ 2 billion) and a reallocating C$1.3 billion (US$1 billion) for affordable housing.

The budget also allocates C$30 billion (US$24 billion) over the next five years to establish a nationwide early learning and childcare system.

The budget also allocates over C$18 billion (US$14 billion) to support its Indigenous communities.

“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 government said in a statement.

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