Highlights of budget 2021: Billions for green economic growth, healthier Indigenous communities

Highlights of the 2021 federal budget.

Federal spending plan includes more than $101B to kickstart post-pandemic economy

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the 2021 federal budget today. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Here are some highlights of the 2021 federal budget:

Big measures:

  • $101.4 billion in new spending over three years to fuel the recovery and kick-start the transition to a green economy.

  • $30 billion over five years and $8.3 billion per year after that to create and sustain a national child care program. Goal is a $10/day child care service by 2025-2026.

  • $18 billion to build safer, healthier Indigenous communities.

  • $17.6 billion for green recovery — to conserve 25 per cent of lands and oceans by 2025 and to put Canada on course to exceed climate change targets by cutting emissions to 36 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

  • Extension of pandemic business and income support measures, such as wage and rent subsidies, through the fall.

  • Taxable grant payment of $500 to Old Age Security pensioners age 75 or older as of June 2022 and a 10 per cent boost to maximum OAS benefits for pensioners 75 or older starting July 1, 2022.

Deficit and debt

  • Deficit at $354.2 billion in 2020-21 and $154.7 billion in 2021-22, expected to gradually decline to $30.7 billion in 2025-26, or approximately 1 per cent of GDP.

  • Debt-to-GDP ratio soars above 50 per cent, then falls to 49.2 per cent by 2025-2026.

Jobs and workers

  • Extension of maximum period of employment insurance sickness benefits, from 15 weeks to 26 weeks.

  • Projection of 1 million new jobs created by the end of the year.

  • A new $15 federal minimum wage.

More highlights

  • $4.4 billion to help homeowners with green retrofits through interest-free loans of up to $40,000.

  • $3 billion over five years to help provinces/territories improve long-term care.

  • $2.5 billion to build and repair 35,000 housing units for vulnerable Canadians.

  • $1 billion for the tourism sector for festivals and cultural events.

  • New tax of 10 to 20 per cent for luxury cars and aircraft worth more than $100,000 and luxury boats over $250,000.

  • $300 million to support Black and other underrepresented entrepreneurs.

  • No promise of funding to implement a national pharmacare program. 

  • $236.2 million over five years, and $33.5 million per year afterward, for the departments of National Defence and Veterans Affairs to eliminate sexual misconduct and gender-based violence in the military and to support survivors.

  • Extension of interest-free period for Canada student and apprentice loans to March 31, 2023, at a cost to the government of an estimated $392.7 million in 2022-23.