Federal budget unveils $104-billion in new spending
In its first budget in two years the federal government has put childcare front and centre. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced more than $30-billion for the start of a national child care program by cutting child care costs in half by the end of 2022. That will include $10 a day for child care by 2025.
Other highlights of the 2021 budget include an extension of all the big federal COVID-19 support programs including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as well as the Emergency Rent Subsidy until September. There will be an additional 12 weeks added to the Canada Recovery Benefit. That increases the program to 50 weeks.
There will also be an increase to the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits will be extended from 15 to 26 weeks.
The financial blueprint also provides $5-billion for projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Net Zero Accelerator.
The federal deficit will be just over 354-billion dollars for the past year but it will drop to over 154-billion this fiscal. There was no date provided for when the Liberal government plans to balance its books.