Federal Budget 2021: A look at some of the promises you might have missed

·4 min read
Federal Budget 2021: A look at some of the promises you might have missed

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government’s first budget in more than two years makes big promises on child care, the environment and readying the country’s economy for a post-pandemic rebound. But there is also a veritable grab bag of smaller promises as well. Here are some of the more interesting:

— $100 million over three years for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health-care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized and Black Canadians.

— $50 million over two years for those suffering from PTSD and other mental-health trauma from COVID-19.

— $28.6 million over five years, and $5.7 million per year ongoing, to address antimicrobial resistance.

— $82.5 million this year to help Canadian airports better test for COVID-19, $6.7 million to acquire and use sanitization equipment, and $271 million for pandemic screening efforts.

— $57.6 million to help employers offset the costs of isolating temporary foreign workers upon their arrival in Canada.

— $656.1 million over five years, and $123.8 million ongoing, to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to modernize Canada’s borders, including touchless and automated systems, contraband detection systems and infrastructure security.

— $9.9 million over two years for the Canadian Space Agency to plan the next generation of Earth-observation satellites.

— $17.6 million over five years, and $3.4 million per year ongoing, to create a Data Commissioner that would help government and business protect people’s personal data and encourage innovation in the digital marketplace.

— $60 million over the next two years to protect wetlands and trees on farms, and $10 million over the next two years to power farms with clean energy.

— $25 million to the Northwest Territories to support the construction of 30 new public housing units across the territory, and $25 million to Nunavut to redevelop and refurbish about 100 new housing units.

— $45 million over two years to pilot a program aimed at reducing veteran homelessness.

— $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals, and $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, museums, amateur sport events, and more.

— $500 million to create a tourism relief fund to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to and recovering from COVID-19.

— $300 million over two years to establish a recovery fund for the heritage, arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors and $70 million over three years to help the live-music sector.

— $21 million in 2021-22 to support CBC/Radio-Canada through the pandemic.

— $39.3 million over two years to the book industry.

— $101 million over two years to help wineries adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges.

— $200 million to establish a fund to combat anti-Black racism and improve social and economic outcomes in Black communities.

— $15 million over three years for a new fund to address challenges facing the LTBTQ community.

— $116 million over two years to address the opioid epidemic and other substance-abuse concerns. 

— $45 million over three years to make sexual and reproductive health care information and services more accessible for vulnerable populations.

— $15.4 million over two years to support the creation of a national autism strategy.

— Notice that the government plans to start taxing vaping products, and a $4-per-carton increase on excise duties for cigarettes.

— $14.9 million over four years to support the preservation of Indigenous heritage through Library and Archives Canada.

— $14.3 million over five years to ensure Indigenous women and girls have access to sports activities.

— $126.7 million over three years to prevent racism and discrimination in health-care systems. This funding will support patient advocates, health system navigators, and cultural safety training for medical professionals.

— $74.8 million over three years to improve access to justice for Indigenous people and address systemic discrimination and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system.

— $13.4 million over five years, with $2.4 million ongoing, to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.

— $180.4 million over three years to support student bilingualism across the country.

— $312 million over five years, and $41.4 million ongoing, to implement legislation targeting gun violence, smuggling and trafficking.

— $85.3 million over five years to support independent legal advice and representation for victims of sexual assault, as well as to support pilot projects for victims of intimate partner violence.

— $20.7 million over five years for the RCMP to pursue online child sexual exploitation investigations.

— $40.4 million over five years, and $10 million ongoing, to support up to 25 additional drug treatment courts.

— $75 million over five years, and $13.5 million ongoing, to the RCMP to combat systemic racism through new recruitment and training processes, community engagement and other measures.

— $154.6 million to limit the spread of COVID-19 in federal correctional institutions. 

— $5.6 million over five years to commemorate the victims of Ukraine International Airlines PS752 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, including through the development of scholarships.

— Save $1.1 billion over five years, and $222.5 million per year ongoing, by cutting back on government travel.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Apr. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press