April 23, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Today, the Government of Canada highlighted how Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, is a plan to finish the fight against COVID-19, create jobs, and ensure a robust economic recovery that brings all Canadians along.
The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting Canadians’ health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. The largest immunization campaign in Canada’s history is underway and Canada is on track to meet the commitment that every Canadian who wants to will be fully vaccinated by September, free of charge. Budget 2021 lays out the government’s plan to invest $2.2 billion over seven years, towards strengthening Canada’s domestic life sciences sector and restoring domestic bio-manufacturing capabilities that have not been in Canada for decades.
The pandemic has shone a light on systemic issues affecting long-term care facilities across the country. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. This is in addition to the $1 billion provided through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement for the creation of the Safe Long-term Care Fund.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health challenges for Canadians. Budget 2021 is a plan to provide almost $1 billion for mental health care, including for front-line workers, veterans, and Indigenous peoples. Budget 2021 invests to establish national standards for mental health services and to continue providing Canadians with free access to live support, treatment, and credible information through the Wellness Together Canada portal.
Budget 2021 also recognizes that Canadians face health challenges beyond the pandemic. Budget 2021 takes further action to address the ongoing opioid crisis that has been compounded during the pandemic. Budget 2021 takes action to address gaps in the quality of care women receive and ensure equitable and appropriate access to sexual and reproductive health care support.
The best way to keep the economy strong is to keep Canadians healthy. Certain public health restrictions remain necessary to limit the spread of the virus. That is why Budget 2021 includes a plan to do whatever it takes to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the pandemic, to recovery. Budget 2021 proposes to extend the wage subsidy, rent subsidy, and Lockdown Support to September so that businesses and workers have certainty and support as they follow necessary public health restrictions and protect the health of our communities.