Federal government tables Budget-2021

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and MP for Etobicoke Centre Yvan Baker during the Bloor West Village Ukrainian festival in Toronto, ON

Yuri Bilinsky, New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

The first Canadian Budget since 2019, presented last week by the Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, contains such highlights as $101.4 billion over three years for the economic recovery and transition to a green economy, $30 billion over five years for a national child care program, a projection of 1 million new jobs created by the end of 2021, extension of maximum period of employment insurance sickness benefits to 26 weeks and a new $15 federal minimum wage.

The 2020-21 budget deficit turned out lower than the government projected in the Fall of 2020, $354 Billion vs. $399 Billion.

Yvan Baker, MP for Etobicoke Centre, in his interview for NP-UN, singled out such items in the Budget, which he is “very pleased with”, as increasing old age security for seniors aged 75 and older, which will provide up to $766 more for eligible seniors in the first year, and $14.9 billion over eight years to build new public transit.

One of Baker’s areas of attention as an MP has been the establishment of national standards for long-term care. He welcomed the planned $3 billion investment to ensure that provinces and territories provide a high standard of care in their long-term care facilities. The Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standards Association have already launched a process to help develop those national standards.

Baker also named such measures as extension of the wage subsidy, rent subsidy and Lockdown Support for businesses and other employers until September, 2021, as well as the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will run from June to November 2021.
Baker expressed his belief that the budget will pass in Parliament: “I think this is a strong budget. It makes sure that we have resources to fight COVID-19, to support people during this difficult time economically and financially, and to help the economy to recover. We need this combination of policies”.