The government's approach will rest on four main pillars
Protecting Canadians from COVID-19
Helping Canadians through the pandemic
Building Back Better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class
The Canada we’re fighting for
Protecting Canadians from COVID-19
What we did:
Over the last 6 months:
PPE has been shipped across the country;
the Canadian Forces were there in long-term care homes;
close to 9 million Canadians were helped with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit;
over 3.5 million jobs were supported by the wage subsidy.
The Government has also invested over $19 billion for a Safe Restart Agreement, and $2 billion for a Safe Return to Class Fund, along with new funding for First Nations communities.
What we will do and continue to do:
The federal government will continue to be there to help the provinces increase their testing capacity.
As soon as tests are approved in Canada, the Government will do everything it can to see them deployed.
We will also create a federal Testing Assistance Response Team to quickly meet surge testing needs.
The Government will work to target additional financial support directly to businesses which have to temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.
We will continue building PPE domestic capacity, while securing supply chains.
Canada’s vaccine strategy is all about ensuring that Canadians will be able to get a vaccine once it is ready.
The Government has already secured access to vaccine candidates and therapeutics, while investing in manufacturing here at home.
We have also made further investments in our capacity for vaccine distribution.
From the Vaccine Task Force, to the Immunity Task Force, Canada’s top scientific minds are guiding the Government every step of the way.
Helping Canadians through the pandemic
People losing their jobs is one of the clearest consequence of the global economic shock that Canadians – like those in other countries – have faced.
At the start of the pandemic, we acted fast with the CERB and the CEWS to help Canadians pay their bills and keep their jobs.
But more needs to be done to get Canadians back to work. That’s why we will:
Launch a campaign to create more than a million jobs to restore employment to previous levels;
Create direct investments in the social sector and infrastructure, immediate training to quickly skill-up workers, and incentives for employers to hire and retain workers.
We will also extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through to next summer, so workers can remain on the payroll;
And we will create jobs for young Canadians by significantly scaling up the Youth Employment Strategy.
Supporting workers and their families
When the pandemic hit and Canadians were asked to stay home, we moved quickly to create the Canada Emergency Benefit so Canadians could continue to pay their bills.
As we continue to restart the economy, Canadians who are looking for work will now be supported by the Employment Insurance system.
For those who wouldn’t traditionally qualify for EI, we will create a transitional Recovery Benefit.
Over the coming months, we will build an EI system that is the sole delivery mechanism for employment benefits, including for those who did not previously qualify and for self-employed Canadians.
Women in the Economy
Women, particularly low-income women, have been hit hardest by COVID-19.
To ensure the legacy of the pandemic is not one that rolls back the clock on women’s participation in the workforce or backtracks on social and political gains, we will create an Action Plan for Women in the Economy.
This plan will be guided by a task force of diverse voices, and help more women get back into the workforce and ensure a feminist intersectional response to the pandemic and recovery.
We will also accelerate the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which has already helped women across Canada grow their businesses.
We will also give parents access to affordable, inclusive, and high quality child care, we will create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.
We are committed to helping small businesses weather the pandemic, through programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and helping provide interest free loans.
We are committed to helping businesses adapt for the future and thrive going forward.
This fall, in addition to extending the wage subsidy, we will take further steps to bridge vulnerable businesses to the other side of the pandemic by:
Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account to help businesses with fixed costs;
Improving the Business Credit Availability Program;
And introducing further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts.
This COVID-19 emergency has had huge costs. But Canada would have had a deeper recession and a bigger long-term deficit if we had done less.
In the short term, we will continue to focus on doing everything necessary to keep Canadians healthy and help them through the pandemic.
Because the best way to keep the economy strong is to keep Canadians healthy.
In the long term, we will build back better with a sustainable approach for future generations.
We will focus on targeted investments to strengthen the middle class, build resiliency, and generate growth.
That includes identifying additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by concluding work to limit the stock option deduction for wealthy individuals at large, established corporations, and addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.
This fall, we will release an update to Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan and outline the economic and fiscal position, provide fiscal projections, and set out new measures to implement these investments in the Throne Speech.
Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class
Addressing gaps in our social systems
To help and protect seniors, we will:
Work with Parliament on Criminal Code amendments to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care;
Work with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care so that seniors get the best support possible;
Take additional action to help people stay in their homes longer;
And increase Old Age Security once a senior turns 75, and boost the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit.
We will bring forward a Disability Inclusion Plan, which will have:
A new Canadian Disability Benefit modelled after the GIS for seniors;
A robust employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities;
And a better process to determine eligibility for Government disability programs and benefits.
We will create a more resilient health care system by:
Ensuring everyone has access to a family doctor or primary care team;
Expand capacity to deliver virtual healthcare;
Continue to address the opioid epidemic and further increase access to mental health services;
Accelerate steps to achieve national, universal pharmacare through:
A rare-disease strategy to help Canadian families save money on high-cost drugs;
Establishing a national formulary to keep drug prices low;
And working with provinces and territories willing to move forward without delay.
To keep Canadians safe, we will:
Continue to implement firearms policy commitments by giving municipalities the ability to further restrict and ban handguns and strengthen measures to control the flow of illegal handguns into Canada;
And accelerate investments in shelters and transitional housing to better protect women fleeing violence, and continue to advance a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
To build strong communities, we will:
invest in all types of infrastructure, including public transit, energy efficient retrofits, clean energy, rural broadband and affordable housing, particularly for Indigenous Peoples and northern communities;
Accelerate the connectivity timelines and ambitions of the Universal Broadband Fund to ensure that all Canadians, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet;
Work with partners to support regional routes for airlines;
Focus on entirely eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada;
Add to the historic National Housing Strategy by increasing investments to rapid housing in the short term, and partnering with not-for-profits and co-ops in the mid- to long-term;
Move forward with enhancements to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, including in Canada’s largest cities, so families can afford to buy their first home;
Continue to work with partners – including directly with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation partners – to address food insecurity in Canada, and strengthen our local food supply chains;
And ensure that those in Canada’s supply managed sectors receive full and fair compensation for recent trade agreements.
A stronger workforce
We have an opportunity to not just support Canadians, but grow their potential.
Working with the provinces and territories, we will make the largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers. This will include by:
Supporting Canadians as they build new skills in growing sectors;
Helping workers to receive education and accreditation;
And strengthening workers’ futures, by connecting them to employers and good jobs, in order to grow and strengthen the middle class.
Canadians are leading, and they should have government services that keep up.
We will also make generational investments in updating outdated IT systems to modernize the way that Government serves Canadians, and work to introduce free, automatic tax filing for simple returns to ensure citizens receive the benefits they need.
Taking action on extreme risks from climate change
Climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country. We will:
immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal;
Legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050;
Create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings, cutting energy costs for Canadian families and businesses;
Invest in reducing the impact of climate-related disasters, like floods and wildfires, to make communities safer and more resilient;
Help deliver more transit and active transit options;
Make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable while investing in more charging stations across the country;
Launch a new fund to attract investments in making zero-emissions products and cut the corporate tax rate in half for these companies to create jobs and make Canada a world leader in clean technology;
Transform how we power our economy and communities by moving forward with the Clean Power Fund, including with projects like the Atlantic Loop that will connect surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal;
Support investments in renewable energy and next generation clean energy and technology solutions;
Support manufacturing, natural resource, and energy sectors as they work to transform to meet a net zero future, creating good paying and long-lasting jobs;
Recognize farmers, foresters, and ranchers as key partners in the fight against climate change, supporting their efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience.
Work with municipalities as part of a new commitment to expand urban parks, so that everyone has access to green space, and find nature-based solutions to fighting climate change, including by planting 2 billion trees;
And create a new Canada Water Agency to keep our waters safe, clean, and well managed, and continue to grow Canada’s ocean economy.
The Canada we’re fighting for
The Government will continue to support Indigenous communities, and contain the spread of COVID-19.
We will also walk the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and remain focused on implementing the commitments made in 2019.
But, we need to keep moving forward even faster on a number of fronts including by:
Expediting work to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation, and a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy;
Accelerating work on the National Action Plan, as well as implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls for Action;
Continuing to close the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities, working on a distinctions-basis with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation to accelerate the government’s 10-year commitment;
Making additional resiliency investments to meet the clean drinking water commitment in First Nations communities;
And supporting additional capacity-building for First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation.
Addressing systemic racism
For too many Canadians, systemic racism is a lived reality.
The Government has invested in economic empowerment through the Black Entrepreneurship Program, while working to close the gaps in services for Indigenous communities.
Important steps were taken with the release of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy for 2019-2022, the creation of an anti-racism secretariat, and the appointment of the first-ever Minister focused specifically on diversity and inclusion.
The Government will redouble its efforts, by:
Building a whole-of-federal-government approach around better collection of disaggregated data throughout Government,
Taking action on online hate;
Going further on economic empowerment for specific communities, and increasing diversity on procurement;
Implementing an action plan to increase representation in hiring and appointments, and leadership development within the Public Service;
We will also:
Introduce legislation and make investments that take action to address the systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system;
Move forward on enhanced civilian oversight of our law enforcement agencies;
Modernize training for police and law enforcement;
Move forward on RCMP reforms;
And accelerate work to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing as an essential service.
Protecting two official languages
Advancing the rights of Francophone minorities outside Quebec and the rights of the Anglophone minority in Quebec is a priority.
It is the Government’s responsibility to protect and promote French not just outside Quebec, but within Quebec as well.
That is why, 51 years after the Official Languages Act was adopted, the Government will strengthen the Act in light of the particular reality of the French language.
A welcoming Canada
The Government will continue to bring in newcomers and support family reunification.
As part of both the short-term economic recovery and a long-term plan for growth, the Government will leverage the advantage we have on immigration to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.
Canada in the World
The Government will invest more in international development while supporting developing countries on their economic recoveries and resilience.
Canada will also support work to ensure that people around the world have access to a vaccine.
We will always stand up for human rights and the rule of law.
And we will continue to fight for free trade, including by leading the Ottawa Group to reform the World Trade Organization.
Our likeminded allies and partners are investing to make sure their societies emerge stronger. This Government’s plan does that as well.