Canadian News Apr 20, 2021 2:48 PM EST

Canadian taxpayers to spend $375 MILLION on foreign countries' COVID aid, and more from Trudeau's 2021 budget

The budget will introduce $100 billion in new spending.

Canadian taxpayers to spend $375 MILLION on foreign countries' COVID aid, and more from Trudeau's 2021 budget
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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The Trudeau government presented their first budget in over two years, with the Liberals proving to Canadians that they are willing to spend their way to potential financial recovery in short time.

The budget will introduce $100 billion in new spending, and will lead to a deficit of $354.2 billion for last year, with 2021-2022 projecting a $154.7 billion shortcoming.

It was made clear to Canadians early on that child care and early learning would be a top priority for the Liberals, with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland having gotten into some hot water after saying that COVID created a "political opportunity" and an "epiphany" surrounding childcare in Canada.

In childcare, the Liberals announced up to $30 billion over five years, with the aim of reducing fees by up to 50 percent, on average, by 2022.

The Liberals are aiming for $10 a day average cost by 2026.

The Liberals also announced that publicly listed corporations "that receive the wage subsidy and paid executives more in 2021 than in 2019 will have to repay the equivalent, starting in early-June."

$18B in proposed new spending was also announced for Indigenous services and reconciliation efforts. These include COVID-19 aid, health care, water, social services, education, income assistance, infrastructure, job creation, languages and culture, policing, governance, and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) implementation.

The Liberals also announced a luxury tax on personal high-end cars and aircraft over $100,000, as well as personal boats above $250,000.

Other items included in the Liberals' budget, as listed by CPAC:

• EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Nearly $7B over five years for EI reform, including the extension of sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
• STUDENTS: waiver of interest on federal student and apprentice loans through 2022-23. Extension of doubled Canada Student Grants through July 2023, at a cost of $3.1B.
• JOBS: Expansion of Canada Workers Benefit to about one million people in low-wage jobs – costing $8.9B through 2026.
• $721M/2 yrs for student placement, youth skills, Canada Summer Jobs. $960M /3 yrs to help sectors with labour shortages. $470M / 3 yrs to establish Apprenticeship Service for those entering Red Seal trades.
• Canada Recovery Hiring Program to operate through Nov. 20 to help employers with extra re-opening costs, at an expected cost of $595M.
• ECONOMY: Budget calls for Canada Digital Adoption Program to provide as many as 160K businesses with digitization, e-commerce, finance, and “advisory expertise.”
• HOUSING: $3.8B in new and re-assigned funding over 7 years for affordable housing, Canada Housing Benefit, and other initiatives to build, convert, or repair 35,000 units.
• FEDERAL CARBON REBATE: credits to move from annual payment to quarterly payments going through the benefit system. $100M in carbon levy proceeds to be returned to farmers in backstop provinces
• HOUSING: $612M over 2 years for homelessness strategy (including veterans).
• BUDGET 2021: $300M to fund Black-led initiatives to fight racism and support Black-led non-profit organizations.
• MILITARY MISCONDUCT: expanded funding for victim support, sexual assault service providers, military justice system, and “new external oversight mechanisms to bring greater independence to the processes of reporting and adjudicating sexual misconduct.”
• RCMP: $75M over 5 years to “combat systemic racism” through recruitment and training reform, and other changes
• JUSTICE: $312M over 5 years on gun control measures and $601M over 5 years for national action plan to end gender-based violence.
• SIN TAXES: Gov’t intends to introduce new excise duties on vaping products and increase tobacco duty by $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes.

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