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Chapter 3
Building Back Better: A Plan to Conquer the COVID-19 Recession

3.1 The Threat of COVID-19 to Canada’s Long-term Economic Potential

Large economic shocks, like the COVID-19 pandemic, not only disrupt current incomes and economic activity, but they risk also having long-lasting effects on future economic prospects and Canadians’ well-being.

3.1.1 Impacts on Labour Markets

COVID-19 could pose long-lasting damage to Canadians’ job prospects. Workers who have been unemployed for some time may find it even more difficult to get a new job and stop actively searching for work (Chart 3.2). The hardest-hit sectors include hospitality and recreation, which employ many young people, new Canadians and lower-wage workers. COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainty around availability of child care could also increase the pressure on working mothers to stay home, partly offsetting decades of economic gains.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity

The rise in women’s labour force participation over the last 40 years or so has accounted for about a third of the rise in Canada’s real per capita gross domestic product (GDP), translating into over $9,000 per person.

Chart 3.1
The Impact of Women's Participation in the Workforce on Real GDP per Capita, 1976 to 2019
Chart 3.1: The Impact of Women's Participation in the Workforce on Real GDP per Capita, 1976 to 2019

Sources: Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada calculations.

Text version
The Impact of Women's Participation in the Workforce on Real GDP per Capita, 1976 to 2019
  Actual real GDP per capital (2019 dollars) Real GDP per capita without higher female inclusion (2019 dollars) Real GDP per capita (1976 level) (2019 dollars)
1976 34,8 34,8 34,8
1977 35,5 35,3 34,8
1978 36,5 35,9 34,8
1979 37,5 36,3 34,8
1980 37,8 36,1 34,8
1981 38,6 36,5 34,8
1982 36,9 35,1 34,8
1983 37,5 35,6 34,8
1984 39,4 37,0 34,8
1985 40,9 38,0 34,8
1986 41,3 38,1 34,8
1987 42,4 38,9 34,8
1988 43,8 39,7 34,8
1989 44,0 39,7 34,8
1990 43,4 39,0 34,8
1991 41,9 37,9 34,8
1992 41,8 38,0 34,8
1993 42,5 38,6 34,8
1994 43,9 39,8 34,8
1995 44,6 40,3 34,8
1996 44,9 40,6 34,8
1997 46,3 41,7 34,8
1998 47,7 42,6 34,8
1999 49,8 44,1 34,8
2000 51,9 45,7 34,8
2001 52,3 45,8 34,8
2002 53,2 46,4 34,8
2003 53,7 46,5 34,8
2004 54,9 47,4 34,8
2005 56,1 48,3 34,8
2006 57,0 48,9 34,8
2007 57,6 49,1 34,8
2008 57,6 49,0 34,8
2009 55,2 47,1 34,8
2010 56,3 48,0 34,8
2011 57,5 49,1 34,8
2012 57,9 49,3 34,8
2013 58,6 49,8 34,8
2014 59,7 50,9 34,8
2015 59,7 50,9 34,8
2016 59,6 50,7 34,8
2017 60,7 51,6 34,8
2018 61,1 51,9 34,8
2019 61,2 51,9 34,8

For racialized Canadians, higher unemployment, coupled with higher infection rates, will have long-term impacts on their ability to recover and re-enter the labour market.

To build back stronger, and set our course as a country for the years ahead, we need all Canadians to be able to contribute to their full potential in order to grow the economy.

Further, Canada’s immigration intake, the most important source of Canada’s population and labour force growth, has been severely disrupted by travel restrictions and application delays due to COVID-19. In 2019, Canada admitted 341,175 permanent residents. In the first nine months of 2020, only 143,470 permanent residents arrived in Canada (Chart 3.3). New temporary immigration permits (e.g. working and student permits) granted up to August plummeted by 35 per cent compared with the same period in 2019. Lower immigration alone could potentially reduce Canada’s population growth to around 1 per cent this year, compared to growth of 1.4 per cent in both 2018 and 2019, reducing labour supply and economic growth.

Chart 3.2
Unemployment Rate
Chart 3.2: Chart title

Notes: Time zero is the monthly trough before the downturn for each recession (e.g. February 2020 for the current recession). The September 2020 survey employment profile has been adjusted to reflect recent Labour Force Survey releases.

Sources: Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada September 2020 survey of private sector economists; Department of Finance Canada calculations.

Text version
Unemployment Rate
Months since the beginning of the recession COVID-19 recession (%) 1981-1982 recession (%) 1990-1991 recession (%) 2008-2009 recession (%) Pre-pandemic level (February 2020) (%) Months since the beginning of the recession (%)
0 5.6 7.1 7.3 6.1 5.6 0
1 7.8 8.1 7.6 6.2 5.6 1
2 13.0 8.3 7.8 6.6 5.6 2
3 13.7 8.3 7.6 6.9 5.6 3
4 12.3 8.7 7.9 7.4 5.6 4
5 10.9 8.6 8.1 8.0 5.6 5
6 10.2 8.9 8.5 8.1 5.6 6
7 9.0 9.3 8.8 8.3 5.6 7
8 8.9 9.8 9.1 8.6 5.6 8
9 8.6 10.3 9.5 8.7 5.6 9
10 8.4 11.1 9.8 8.7 5.6 10
11 8.3 11.9 10.2 8.7 5.6 11
12 8.2 12.0 10.5 8.4 5.6 12
13 8.0 12.4 10.3 8.4 5.6 13
14 7.9 12.9 10.2 8.5 5.6 14
15 7.8 12.9 10.5 8.5 5.6 15
16 7.6 13.1 10.5 8.3 5.6 16
17 7.5 12.7 10.5 8.2 5.6 17
18 7.4 12.7 10.3 8.2 5.6 18
19 7.3 12.5 10.3 8.1 5.6 19
20 7.1 12.4 10.4 8.0 5.6 20
21 7.1 12.4 10.3 7.9 5.6 21
22 7.0 12.4 10.4 8.1 5.6 22
23 6.9 11.9 10.5 8.1 5.6 23
24 6.7 11.7 10.9 8.1 5.6 24
25 6.6 11.4 10.7 7.8 5.6 25
26 6.6 11.3 10.9 7.6 5.6 26
27 6.5 11.3 11.4 7.6 5.6 27
28 6.5 11.3 11.3 7.7 5.6 28
29 6.5 11.3 11.7 7.7 5.6 29
30 6.4 11.3 11.6 7.7 5.6 30
31 6.3 11.3 11.4 7.6 5.6 31
32 6.3 11.5 12.1 7.5 5.6 32
33 6.3 11.7 11.7 7.5 5.6 33
34 6.2 11.3 11.2 7.3 5.6 34
Chart 3.3
Canada Permanent Admissions
Chart 3.3: Canada Permanent Admissions

Note: Last data point is September 2020.

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Text version
Canada Permanent Admissions (persons) 
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2019 18,645 20,250 27,060 26,900 33,015 34,360 36,615 31,585 35,515 31,235 25,080 20,915
2020 24,700 25,895 18,565 4,125 10,955 19,175 13,700 11,330 15,025      

3.1.2 Impacts on Business Investment

With persistent restrictions on activity and reduced demand for goods and services, some businesses are left with more capacity than needed. This is particularly the case in some parts of the economy where physical distancing is difficult and where a full reopening is unlikely until a vaccine is widely available (e.g. accommodation and food, and arts, entertainment and recreation industries). Greater uncertainty about short- to medium-term economic prospects as infection rates rise is also compounding the negative impact of reduced demand, inducing some businesses to delay or cancel planned investments. Businesses’ investment intentions have also declined significantly (Chart 3.4). A sustained period of lower business investment would weigh on Canada’s longer-term growth prospects.

Chart 3.4
Capital Investment Intentions of Canadian Companies
Chart 3.4: Capital Investment Intentions of Canadian Companies

Note: Capital expenditures on privately held non-residential tangible assets.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Text version
Capital Investment Intentions of Canadian Companies (billions of dollars)
  Current expectations  Pre-COVID-19 survey 
2006 151  
2007 156  
2008 160  
2009 126  
2010 143  
2011 162  
2012 175  
2013 183  
2014 199  
2015 173  
2016 154  
2017 156  
2018 172  
2019 176 176
2020 147 178

3.1.3 Uneven Impacts on Productivity

Lower business investment and a less intensive use of some capital assets resulting from capacity constraints may also slow technological progress and have negative implications for productivity growth. In some cases, changes to business processes have been necessary to mitigate the new threat of COVID-19. For example, many consumer-facing businesses have invested in creating safe and healthy environments for workers and customers by installing plastic screens and increasing the regularity of cleaning to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Some of these innovations reflect a new cost of doing business, reducing productivity in the near-term. Furthermore, if workers remain unemployed or underemployed for a protracted period, it could erode their job-specific knowledge and skills. This could further undermine Canada’s productivity growth, a key element supporting Canada’s future standard of living in our aging society. As we move into the recovery there may also be a different type of demand in certain sectors compared to prior to the pandemic. All economies will have to deal with these transitionary effects, while minimizing the challenges and costs for businesses and workers to adapt.

3.1.4 The Pandemic is Shifting the Global Energy Mix

Canada’s energy sector is also being affected by the pandemic and broader global shifts. Crude oil exports remain well below pre-COVID-19 levels, as weak global demand – particularly in the oil-intensive transportation sector – continues to weigh on global oil prices and Canadian oil production and oil workers (Chart 3.5). Prospects are uncertain around the recovery in supply and demand related to the travel restrictions, the permanence of remote working, as well as the unwinding of supply cuts. Further, ongoing improvements in affordability for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar generated electricity (Chart 3.6), are accelerating the transition towards low-carbon energy sources.

Chart 3.5
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil Price and Canadian Crude Oil Production
Chart 3.5: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil Price and Canadian Crude Oil Production

Note: Last data point is November 2020 for WTI crude oil price, September 2020 for Canadian crude oil production

Sources: Canadian Energy Regulator; Haver Analytics.

Text version
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil Price and Canadian Crude Oil Production
  Canada Total Crude Oil Production
(millions of barrels per day)
WTI Crude Oil Price
($US per barrel)
Jan
2000
2.15 27.18
Feb
2000
2.16 29.35
Mar
2000
2.08 29.89
Apr
2000
2.14 25.74
May
2000
2.19 28.78
Jun
2000
2.18 31.83
Jul
2000
2.15 29.77
Aug
2000
2.18 31.22
Sep
2000
2.19 33.88
Oct
2000
2.13 33.08
Nov
2000
2.20 34.40
Dec
2000
2.21 28.46
Jan
2001
2.20 29.58
Feb
2001
2.22 29.61
Mar
2001
2.23 27.24
Apr
2001
2.12 27.41
May
2001
2.21 28.64
Jun
2001
2.12 27.60
Jul
2001
2.14 26.45
Aug
2001
2.15 27.47
Sep
2001
2.09 25.88
Oct
2001
2.19 22.21
Nov
2001
2.23 19.67
Dec
2001
2.24 19.33
Jan
2002
2.21 19.67
Feb
2002
2.35 20.74
Mar
2002
2.30 24.42
Apr
2002
2.35 26.27
May
2002
2.27 27.02
Jun
2002
2.26 25.52
Jul
2002
2.35 26.94
Aug
2002
2.31 28.38
Sep
2002
2.30 29.67
Oct
2002
2.40 28.85
Nov
2002
2.43 26.27
Dec
2002
2.45 29.42
Jan
2003
2.37 32.94
Feb
2003
2.35 35.87
Mar
2003
2.36 33.55
Apr
2003
2.33 28.25
May
2003
2.42 28.14
Jun
2003
2.51 30.72
Jul
2003
2.59 30.76
Aug
2003
2.47 31.59
Sep
2003
2.49 28.29
Oct
2003
2.53 30.33
Nov
2003
2.53 31.09
Dec
2003
2.62 32.15
Jan
2004
2.52 34.27
Feb
2004
2.64 34.74
Mar
2004
2.59 36.76
Apr
2004
2.47 36.69
May
2004
2.56 40.28
Jun
2004
2.55 38.02
Jul
2004
2.55 40.69
Aug
2004
2.59 44.94
Sep
2004
2.52 45.95
Oct
2004
2.50 53.13
Nov
2004
2.56 48.46
Dec
2004
2.45 43.33
Jan
2005
2.37 46.84
Feb
2005
2.43 47.97
Mar
2005
2.35 54.31
Apr
2005
2.41 53.04
May
2005
2.46 49.83
Jun
2005
2.44 56.26
Jul
2005
2.45 58.70
Aug
2005
2.48 64.97
Sep
2005
2.39 65.57
Oct
2005
2.56 62.37
Nov
2005
2.70 58.30
Dec
2005
2.77 59.43
Jan
2006
2.68 65.51
Feb
2006
2.58 61.63
Mar
2006
2.53 62.90
Apr
2006
2.61 69.69
May
2006
2.45 70.94
Jun
2006
2.42 70.96
Jul
2006
2.57 74.41
Aug
2006
2.64 73.05
Sep
2006
2.68 63.87
Oct
2006
2.74 58.88
Nov
2006
2.76 59.37
Dec
2006
2.80 62.03
Jan
2007
2.65 54.57
Feb
2007
2.71 59.26
Mar
2007
2.85 60.56
Apr
2007
2.74 63.97
May
2007
2.68 63.46
Jun
2007
2.61 67.48
Jul
2007
2.71 74.18
Aug
2007
2.93 72.39
Sep
2007
2.79 79.93
Oct
2007
2.76 86.20
Nov
2007
2.76 94.62
Dec
2007
2.62 91.73
Jan
2008
2.67 92.95
Feb
2008
2.68 95.35
Mar
2008
2.76 105.56
Apr
2008
2.64 112.57
May
2008
2.57 125.39
Jun
2008
2.60 133.93
Jul
2008
2.78 133.44
Aug
2008
2.81 116.61
Sep
2008
2.69 103.90
Oct
2008
2.72 76.65
Nov
2008
2.81 57.44
Dec
2008
2.76 41.02
Jan
2009
2.72 41.74
Feb
2009
2.81 39.16
Mar
2009
2.71 47.98
Apr
2009
2.58 49.79
May
2009
2.55 59.16
Jun
2009
2.68 69.68
Jul
2009
2.79 64.09
Aug
2009
2.68 71.06
Sep
2009
2.63 69.46
Oct
2009
2.71 75.82
Nov
2009
2.83 78.08
Dec
2009
2.69 74.30
Jan
2010
2.57 78.22
Feb
2010
2.79 76.42
Mar
2010
2.81 81.24
Apr
2010
2.78 84.48
May
2010
2.84 73.84
Jun
2010
2.85 75.35
Jul
2010
2.83 76.37
Aug
2010
2.86 76.82
Sep
2010
2.73 75.31
Oct
2010
2.79 81.90
Nov
2010
2.99 84.14
Dec
2010
3.02 89.04
Jan
2011
2.95 89.42
Feb
2011
2.95 89.58
Mar
2011
2.97 102.94
Apr
2011
2.96 110.04
May
2011
2.68 101.33
Jun
2011
2.79 96.29
Jul
2011
3.04 97.19
Aug
2011
3.19 86.33
Sep
2011
3.11 85.61
Oct
2011
3.17 86.41
Nov
2011
3.16 97.21
Dec
2011
3.28 98.57
Jan
2012
3.27 100.24
Feb
2012
3.31 102.25
Mar
2012
3.16 106.19
Apr
2012
3.23 103.33
May
2012
3.15 94.70
Jun
2012
3.11 82.41
Jul
2012
3.22 87.93
Aug
2012
3.18 94.16
Sep
2012
3.13 94.72
Oct
2012
3.29 89.57
Nov
2012
3.38 86.66
Dec
2012
3.54 88.25
Jan
2013
3.45 94.69
Feb
2013
3.51 95.32
Mar
2013
3.55 92.96
Apr
2013
3.36 92.07
May
2013
3.15 94.80
Jun
2013
3.28 95.80
Jul
2013
3.43 104.70
Aug
2013
3.63 106.56
Sep
2013
3.50 106.29
Oct
2013
3.53 100.54
Nov
2013
3.64 93.86
Dec
2013
3.72 97.68
Jan
2014
3.75 94.62
Feb
2014
3.70 100.82
Mar
2014
3.87 100.80
Apr
2014
3.75 102.07
May
2014
3.65 102.18
Jun
2014
3.72 105.79
Jul
2014
3.78 103.59
Aug
2014
3.75 96.54
Sep
2014
3.77 93.21
Oct
2014
3.94 84.40
Nov
2014
3.91 75.79
Dec
2014
4.01 59.29
Jan
2015
4.01 47.52
Feb
2015
4.09 50.58
Mar
2015
4.00 47.82
Apr
2015
3.69 54.45
May
2015
3.42 59.27
Jun
2015
3.64 59.85
Jul
2015
4.01 50.91
Aug
2015
4.13 42.87
Sep
2015
3.63 45.48
Oct
2015
3.80 46.23
Nov
2015
4.04 42.65
Dec
2015
4.11 37.19
Jan
2016
4.07 31.67
Feb
2016
4.04 30.60
Mar
2016
3.97 37.80
Apr
2016
3.63 40.76
May
2016
3.01 46.76
Jun
2016
3.31 48.80
Jul
2016
3.87 44.69
Aug
2016
4.06 44.76
Sep
2016
4.04 45.22
Oct
2016
4.08 49.81
Nov
2016
4.35 45.73
Dec
2016
4.18 52.06
Jan
2017
4.32 52.56
Feb
2017
4.36 53.46
Mar
2017
4.15 49.48
Apr
2017
3.80 51.08
May
2017
3.93 48.51
Jun
2017
4.03 45.19
Jul
2017
4.25 46.61
Aug
2017
4.41 48.05
Sep
2017
4.21 49.83
Oct
2017
4.21 51.60
Nov
2017
4.54 56.66
Dec
2017
4.62 57.90
Jan
2018
4.43 63.66
Feb
2018
4.58 62.21
Mar
2018
4.63 62.76
Apr
2018
4.29 66.26
May
2018
4.49 69.99
Jun
2018
4.49 67.33
Jul
2018
4.63 70.97
Aug
2018
4.85 67.99
Sep
2018
4.48 70.20
Oct
2018
4.76 70.76
Nov
2018
4.83 57.00
Dec
2018
4.84 48.95
Jan
2019
4.55 51.45
Feb
2019
4.57 54.96
Mar
2019
4.64 58.14
Apr
2019
4.73 63.86
May
2019
4.56 60.85
Jun
2019
4.70 54.65
Jul
2019
4.69 57.44
Aug
2019
4.71 54.82
Sep
2019
4.58 56.96
Oct
2019
4.70 53.98
Nov
2019
4.85 56.95
Dec
2019
4.96 59.81
Jan
2020
4.80 57.53
Feb
2020
4.89 50.53
Mar
2020
4.82 29.46
Apr
2020
4.22 16.61
May
2020
3.96 28.55
Jun
2020
4.16 38.32
Jul
2020
4.17 40.72
Aug
2020
4.08 42.35
Sep
2020
4.20 39.59
Oct
2020
  39.46
Nov
2020
  39.90
Dec
2020
   
Chart 3.6
Cost of Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels
Chart 3.6: Cost of Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels

Note: Last data point is 2019.

Source: IRENA (2020), Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019, International Renewable Energy Agency.

Text version
Cost of Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels (US cents per kWh)
  Onshore Wind
Solar Photovoltaic  Offshore Wind
2010 8.6 37.83 16.1
2011 8.3 28.63 17.5
2012 8.3 22.25 15.4
2013 8.2 17.51 17.7
2014 7.6 16.36 18.3
2015 6.9 12.64 16.9
2016 6.6 11.39 14.6
2017 6.4 9.24 13.1
2018 5.8 7.87 12.7
2019 5.3 6.84 11.5

3.1.5 The Pandemic is Reshaping How Canadians Work and Live

The pandemic has meant a profound shift to working from home for many Canadians whose jobs can be done remotely, with many businesses rapidly pivoting to support remote work. The shift is helping slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of people congregating indoors.

The shift to remote work is presenting a unique opportunity for some businesses to advance and deploy long-awaited productivity-improving technologies, which could also be important for attracting and retaining highly skilled workers. For many businesses, however, this shift may not be possible or appropriate for all tasks. For some, it is a major logistical challenge, while for others, such as commercial real estate, public transit, and the many small local businesses, it has meant a loss of business at present, and significant uncertainty about their future.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Leadership and Democratic Participation

Remote work requires that business owners be able to offer telework to their employees. According to the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, 27 per cent of businesses where working remotely was a possibility for their employees had all employees working remotely on August 31, 2020. Of businesses where remote work was a possibility, businesses majority-owned by women (33 per cent), immigrants (41 per cent), members of LGBTQ2 communities (62 per cent) and visible minorities (44 per cent) were more likely to be working entirely remotely, while businesses majority-owned by Indigenous peoples (16 per cent) were less likely to have their entire workforce teleworking on August 31, 2020. Among businesses majority-owned by visible minorities where remote work was a possibility, there was substantial variation in the rate of teleworking: only 4 per cent of Arab-owned businesses were entirely remote, while 90 per cent of West Asian-owned businesses were entirely remote.

Remote work is out of reach for many Canadians, reflecting a range of barriers and generally lower feasibility for telework in lower-wage jobs and for some health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Adoption of remote work is much less common in rural areas, and for youth (Chart 3.7). A recent study from Statistics Canada found that financially vulnerable workers, including persons with lower educational attainment, and low-income families, are less likely to be found in jobs that can more easily be done from home.

Chart 3.7
Share Working Remotely, 2020
Chart 3.7: Share Working Remotely, 2020

Note: Share of actively working Canadians aged 15 to 64.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Text version
Share Working Remotely  2020
  Share (%) 2019 baseline (%)
Apr
2020
41.6 11.7
May
2020
37.9 11.7
Jun
2020
31 11.7
Jul
2020
28.4 11.7
Aug
2020
26.4 11.7
Sep
2020
25.6 11.7
Oct
2020
26.1 11.7
Chart 3.8
Share Working Remotely, by Age, Gender and Geography, October 2020
Chart 3.8: Share Working Remotely, by Age, Gender and Geography, October 2020

Note: Share of actively working Canadians aged 15 to 64.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Text version
Share Working Remotely  by Age  Gender and Geography  October 2020
  Share (%)
15 to 24 10.0
25 to 54 29.4
55 to 69 24.9
Men 22.6
Women 30.1
Toronto  Vancouver and Montreal 34.7
Other urban 22.1
Rural 16.9

3.1.6 The Pandemic Could Leave Canada with Reduced Productive Capacity

Canada’s potential economic growth could average around 1.4 per cent per year over the 2020-2025 period, compared to about 1.8 per cent before the crisis. Overall, the pandemic would be expected to lower potential GDP, from what it would have been without the pandemic, by about $50 billion by the end of 2025 – more than $2,000 on average for every Canadian aged 15 to 64 (Chart 3.9).

Chart 3.9
Revision to Potential GDP Estimate
Chart 3.9: Revision to Potential GDP Estimate

Sources: Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada September 2020 survey of private sector economists; Department of Finance Canada calculations.

Text version
Revision to Potential GDP Estimate (billions of chained 2012 dollars)
  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Real GDP  2 017 2 058 2 092 1 971 2 064 2 131 2 180 2 226 2 268
Potential GDP -
Pre-pandemic estimate
2 012 2 045 2 081 2 119 2 158 2 198 2 238 2 280 2 322
Potential GDP - Current estimate  2 014 2 048 2 086 2 116 2 130 2 159 2 192 2 230 2 270

3.2 A Plan to Fight the COVID-19 Recession

The government’s broad-based and ambitious suite of measures has been designed to protect Canadians’ health and safety, bridge Canada’s economy through the devastating effects of widespread lockdowns and cushion the pandemic’s impact on Canada’s longer-term prospects. Programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and the broad continuum of tailored liquidity, credit and financing support for businesses of all sizes are working well to stave off mortgage defaults, business closures and other forms of long-term economic scarring. These programs are also working well to put Canada in a stronger position for a robust recovery, especially when compared to international peers. Overall, the government’s rapid and comprehensive supports have provided an unprecedented $407 billion (or nearly 19 per cent of GDP) in overall support to keep Canadians and Canadian businesses afloat, including $270 billion (or over 12 per cent of GDP) in direct support measures.

Federal government measures allowed Canada to fight the spread of COVID-19, while significantly minimizing the longer-term damage to the Canadian economy. Support provided by the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and other programs, such as those providing rent assistance, have allowed businesses to continue to pay workers and cover fixed costs even as revenue shortfalls persist. This is increasing the chance that they will survive and preserve jobs. Income support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which covered millions of Canadian workers ineligible for other income supports, meant that Canadian workers were not forced to choose between public health directives and paying the bills. This stabilized overall demand for goods and services, removing the anxieties of consumers and businesses worried about being able to meet their basic needs and payments. In addition to direct effects, there are substantial indirect benefits for business and household confidence. This is consistent with international evidence that fiscal policy is likely to be more effective when the economy is operating well below its potential capacity, such as in recessions, and interest rates are low.

3.2.1 Fiscal Support Remains Necessary

Canada is now facing a significant second wave of COVID-19. Ongoing fiscal support continues to be necessary to enable individuals and businesses to comply with public health measures, while also protecting jobs and businesses and preventing widespread permanent losses and thus positioning Canada to be ready to build back better. This additional support will help guard against the negative impacts of resurgent waves of the pandemic on employment (Chart 3.10). Failing to contain the virus properly and prevent further scarring could more than double the length of time employment is below its pre-crisis level. This would not only prolong, but also deepen the negative impact of the economic shock on Canadians’ living standards, particularly those who were already economically disadvantaged.

Once the virus is under control, getting the Canadian economy back to its full potential will be critical to reduce economic slack and limit lasting strains on workers and businesses. That’s why the government is now developing the details of a major investment plan to stimulate economic growth, accelerate Canada’s recovery, and create one million good jobs to strengthen and grow the middle class (Chart 3.11). These are investments to safeguard and improve Canadians’ living standards and future well-being.

Chart 3.10
Number of Months to Reach Employment Pre-Recession Peak
Chart 3.10: Number of Months to Reach Employment Pre-Recession Peak

Sources: Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada September 2020 survey of private sector economists; Department of Finance Canada calculations.

Text version
Number of Months to Reach Employment Pre-Recession Peak
1981-82
Recession
40
1990-91
Recession
53
2008-09
Recession
27
COVID-19 Crisis:
September 2020 Survey
24
COVID-19 Crisis:
Extended
Restrictions
34
COVID-19 Crisis:
Escalated
Restrictions
50
Chart 3.11
Employment Recovery Projections
Chart 3.11: Employment Recovery Projections

Note: The accelerated recovery path is consistent with an economic investment package of $100 billion over the next three fiscal years. Last data point is December 2024.

Sources: Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada September 2020 survey of private sector economists; Department of Finance Canada calculations.

Text version
Employment Recovery Projections (index, pre-recession level of employment = 100)
  Range
Dowside Scenario Accelerated Path
Feb-20 0 100 100
Mar-20 0 94.73302969 94.73302969
Apr-20 0 84.34291849 84.34291849
May-20 0 85.85208501 85.85208501
Jun-20 0 90.81784735 90.81784735
Jul-20 0 92.99873889 92.99873889
Aug-20 0 94.27965439 94.27965439
Sep-20 0 96.25053415 96.25053415
Oct-20 0 96.68619133 96.68619133
Nov-20 0.631228237 96.63353403 96.71059165
Dec-20 1.838336465 95.65430379 96.71769187
Jan-21 2.252376244 95.41625978 96.83214324
Feb-21 2.423418959 95.41964604 96.94253072
Mar-21 2.312614481 95.7344139 97.082382
Apr-21 2.244075439 95.99630893 97.34898955
May-21 2.261543968 96.17281157 97.55487405
Jun-21 2.280715262 96.3471643 97.7552086
Jul-21 2.304151925 96.50736342 97.94883634
Aug-21 2.332354931 96.68853198 98.13106715
Sep-21 2.352386733 96.87836476 98.30074416
Oct-21 2.406315806 97.00621183 98.4629066
Nov-21 2.408644717 97.17034522 98.63772708
Dec-21 2.410666325 97.3128466 98.83025003
Jan-22 2.413336999 97.50433842 99.03450342
Feb-22 2.425889249 97.69078928 99.22660427
Mar-22 2.437323859 97.86039889 99.40057011
Apr-22 2.444994981 97.97410694 99.55902738
May-22 2.449158643 98.03575574 99.71242457
Jun-22 2.453184675 98.09535443 99.8633777
Jul-22 2.455135285 98.23099249 100.0100733
Aug-22 2.45708842 98.36682684 100.1452521
Sep-22 2.458897705 98.49387635 100.2670954
Oct-22 2.460155768 98.58342908 100.3834825
Nov-22 2.461363389 98.66959059 100.5259153
Dec-22 2.462462129 98.74799243 100.7022731
Jan-23 2.464418776 98.82645657 100.8984283
Feb-23 2.466376978 98.90498306 101.0578809
Mar-23 2.468336736 98.98357195 101.1665034
Apr-23 2.470298051 99.06222328 101.2362398
May-23 2.472260924 99.1409371 101.314877
Jun-23 2.474225357 99.21971348 101.4143538
Jul-23 2.476191351 99.29855244 101.5296726
Aug-23 2.478158908 99.37745405 101.640833
Sep-23 2.480128027 99.45641836 101.742832
Oct-23 2.482098712 99.53544541 101.8374571
Nov-23 2.484070962 99.61453525 101.931853
Dec-23 2.486044779 99.69368794 102.0277966
Jan-24 2.488020165 99.77290352 102.1220934
Feb-24 2.48999712 99.85218205 102.2019396
Mar-24 2.491975646 99.93152357 102.2641354
Apr-24 2.493955745 100.0109281 102.312855
May-24 2.495937416 100.0903958 102.3647847
Jun-24 2.497920662 100.1699266 102.4240935
Jul-24 2.499905485 100.2495206 102.4889001
Aug-24 2.501891884 100.3291778 102.5516327
Sep-24 2.503879861 100.4088984 102.6104047
Oct-24 2.505869419 100.4886822 102.665112
Nov-24 2.507860557 100.5685295 102.715322
Dec-24 2.509853277 100.6484402 102.7609357

3.2.2 Targeted Stimulus to Jumpstart Recovery

To ensure a robust and resilient recovery, the government is developing the details of a plan to help Canada build back better, by preparing to invest up to $100 billion over the next three fiscal years – roughly valued at between 3 to 4 per cent of GDP. This stimulus will help accelerate our economic recovery, and will be deployed at a time when the virus is under control and the economy is able to effectively absorb it.

The stimulus will help us build out of this recession towards an economy that is greener, more innovative, more inclusive and more competitive. In the coming months, leading into Budget 2021, we will be working with Canadians to further define the stimulus plan. This stimulus will be designed to create good middle class jobs, right here in Canada.

The heart of this stimulus plan will be smart, time-limited investments that can act fast to jumpstart the recovery and have long-run value by creating shared prosperity, improving Canadians’ quality of life and powering our green transformation. The government’s growth plan will include investments that create good, middle class jobs and unleash private spending in the short-run, and that also help us strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the long-run. This will include growing a green economy, investing in infrastructure that supports our communities, workers and flow of goods, and supporting inclusive participation in the workforce.

We’ve also learned through this crisis that certain industries and commodities are critical to our ability to protect the health and safety of Canadians in a future pandemic. Over the past eight months we’ve worked hard to promote a made-in-Canada approach in our purchases of PPE and other medical equipment. Our recovery plan will invest in Canadian industries and Canadian jobs in areas like bio-manufacturing, where it is in Canada’s interest both now, and in the future, to have this capability within our borders.

Many stimulus investments will likely need to wait until we have a vaccine and the threat of further outbreaks and shutdowns is over. However, some measures can safely be implemented now. Measures the government takes now will be a down payment on the investments to come and will again help to minimize the scarring and assist in accelerating the broader recovery to come.

We also know that some measures can take time to plan and to organize. We will spend the winter working hard with Canadians so that we will be ready to shift into high gear when the virus is under control. That is why we are announcing the scope of the plan now, and committing to come back in Budget 2021 with more details.

A package of this size would be broadly comparable to those planned so far by international peers. This would be larger than the investments made in 2008-09 by Canada, which amounted to approximately 2.5 per cent of GDP at that time. This recession is worse than 2008. It stands to reason we will need to invest more, not less.

Measures for this next phase of the recovery will prioritize investments that act fast and help unleash some of the additional savings that have accumulated in Canadians’ bank accounts and on businesses’ balance sheets. These measures will help the economy grow, become more productive and help Canada build back better, greener and more resilient. This strong growth plan can turn a partial and uneven recovery into a broad-based and inclusive recovery from which we will all benefit.

Accelerating the recovery – International comparisons

“Government support should shift gradually from protecting old jobs to getting people back to work and helping viable but still-vulnerable firms safely reopen. The fiscal measures for the recovery are an opportunity to make the economy more inclusive and greener.”

International Monetary Fund,
Fiscal Monitor, October 2020

Some of Canada’s peers have made stimulus announcements, broadly ranging from 1.4% of GDP to more than 4.5% of GDP, to strengthen the economic recovery.

Country Stimulus announcements Size (% of 2019 GDP)
Italy Relaunch Italy Decree (May 2020) and August 2020 Decree 4.5% of GDP
(€80 billion)
Draft Budget 2021 proposed stimulus (Oct. 2020) 2.2% of GDP
(€39 billion)
France Plan de Relance
(Sept. 2020)
4.1% of GDP
(€100 billion)
Germany Economic Recovery Package
(June 2020)
3.8% of GDP
(€130 billion)
Sweden Budget 2021 proposed stimulus
(Sept. 2020)
3.8% of GDP
(SEK190 billion over 2021 and 2022)
Australia The Job Maker Plan
(Budget 20-21, Oct. 2020)
3.7% of GDP
(A$74 billion over 2020-21 to 2023-24)
Denmark Economic Recovery Package
(Budget 2021, Aug. 2020)
3.3% of GDP
(DKK76 billion – estimate)
UK A Plan for Jobs
(July 2020)
Up to 1.4% of GDP
(up to £30 billion)

Sources: European Commission; Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze; Australian Treasury; Sweden Ministry of Finance; German Federal Government; UK Treasury; Ministère de l’Économie, des Finances et de la Relance; Fitch Ratings and other public sources.

NOTE: Stimulus announcements above are not directly comparable as they cover multiple years and include varying combinations of on-budget items such as increased discretionary spending or foregone revenues to support the economy, additional COVID-19 health spending, the extension of existing support measures, as well as off-budget items such as liquidity support and tax deferrals.

3.2.3 Fiscal Guardrails

The supports and investments outlined in this plan will stimulate a robust and inclusive recovery of the Canadian economy. Fiscal guardrails will help establish when the stimulus will be wound down. Uncertainties about the timing of the pandemic and global economic developments mean that the timeline for the recovery should not be locked into a rigid pre-determined calendar. Instead, the government will track progress against several related indicators, recognizing that no one data point is a perfect representation of the health of the economy. These indicators include the employment rate, total hours worked and the level of unemployment in the economy (Charts 3.12 and 3.13). An approach which is guided by economic data will help ensure the recovery is appropriately tailored to the needs of Canadians and the circumstances at hand. These data-driven triggers will let us know when the job of building back from the COVID-19 recession is accomplished, and we can bring one-off stimulus spending to an end, returning to a prudent and responsible fiscal path, based on a long-term fiscal anchor we will outline when the economy is more stable.

Chart 3.12
Labour Market Indicator Path
Chart 3.12: Labour Market Indicator Path

Source: Statistics Canada.

Text version
Labour Market Indicator Path (index, February 2020 = 100)
  Employment rate Total hours worked 
Feb
2020
100 100
Mar
2020
94.66019417 84.87337311
Apr
2020
84.30420712 72.26574749
May
2020
85.5987055 76.84654623
Jun
2020
90.61488673 84.35969883
Jul
2020
92.7184466 88.82611755
Aug
2020
93.85113269 91.36836486
Sep
2020
95.63106796 93.08767063
Oct
2020
96.11650485 93.8525445
Chart 3.13
Unemployment in Excess of February level
Chart 3.13: Unemployment in Excess of February level

Source: Statistics Canada.

Text version
Unemployment in Excess of February level
  Thousands
Feb
2020
0
Mar
2020
413.2
Apr
2020
1284.5
May
2020
1485.4
Jun
2020
1318.8
Jul
2020
1049.8
Aug
2020
913.1
Sep
2020
698.8
Oct
2020
683

3.3 A Down Payment on a Stronger, More Resilient Canada

Once we conquer COVID-19, we will have an opportunity to build back better – for a greener, more inclusive, and more resilient economy.

Because our early response to the crisis was characterized by a clear focus on what was most important to the most vulnerable, we avoided many of the worst potential outcomes for thousands of Canadians. That approach – understanding what matters most and for whom – is the foundation of how we will build back better. As we look ahead to the future of our economy, it must be one that delivers not only growth, but better quality of life for every Canadian.

Our recovery plan will make smart investments that have value now, and well into the future – measures that have a real impact on jobs in the short-run and that strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the long-run; measures that address the people and communities hardest hit by this unique economic crisis, and that seek to capture the economic benefit of a more inclusive workforce. Over the coming few months, we will be working with Canadians to further define this plan.

The investments we are making today are a down payment on this commitment. These are the first steps to creating jobs, growing the middle class, strengthening social supports, moving towards a low-carbon economy, unleashing private spending, and building up the infrastructure our economic success depends on. The decisions we make and the actions we take, today, have a fundamental impact on our future prosperity and well-being.

The July Economic and Fiscal Snapshot noted that traditional economic measurements such as gross domestic product (GDP) alone do not give a full picture of Canadians’ quality of life, and that the government is already incorporating broader quality of life measurements into decision-making.

To shape our investment priorities, the government will continue to draw on best practice internationally, advice from experts on the determinants of quality of life, and engagement with Canadians on what matters to them for a good quality of life. This means thinking holistically about factors like health and mental health, communities and culture, safety and human rights, job quality and opportunity. It also means thinking inclusively about the distribution of outcomes. And it means thinking about the long-term impact of decisions we make today on our future prosperity and way of life, including our green transformation.

3.3.1 An Inclusive Recovery

Inequality makes our economy less resilient which is why a robust and complete recovery must leave no one behind. Our recovery must be feminist and intersectional. This means ensuring that young people have opportunities to gain skills and work experience, that all Canadians have a roof over their heads, that women in all their diversity participate fully in our economy, that lost opportunities for racialized Canadians and Indigenous peoples are restored, and that all communities have the 21st century infrastructure people need. This approach also means supporting Canadians with disabilities, addressing gender-based violence, and ensuring that families have access to affordable child care. We will do all of this work while remaining committed to rigorous analysis of the ways our policies impact different groups of people, and bringing diverse voices into our decision making.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity

Experimental estimates of year-over-over changes in unemployment rates indicate that compared with a year earlier, the unemployment rate increased to a greater extent in October among Chinese, Black, South Asian and Filipino Canadians than among those who were not Indigenous and not a visible minority.

The proposed investments in Fall Economic Statement 2020 will create jobs, create growth, and lay a foundation for a recovery that is equitable, sustainable, and creates good jobs for all Canadians.

3.3.1.1 Creating One Million Jobs.

The economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic caused Canada’s working age employment rate to go from record highs to record lows in a matter of weeks. The historically sudden economic contraction, the deepest since the Great Depression, led to over 5.5 million Canadians—more than 30 per cent of our workforce—either losing their jobs or having their hours severely cut back. The labour market has seen a strong rebound since then, with about 4.4 million Canadians regaining their job or lost hours as of October. Still, 636,000 jobs still hadn’t recovered by October and 433,000 workers had less than half the hours they worked before the pandemic. And more Canadians could lose work because of the resurgence of COVID-19.

In the Speech from the Throne, the government announced its commitment to create over one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels. The government will be focused on measures that promote good, full time, middle class jobs and that bring Canadians experiencing long-term unemployment back into the workforce. Importantly, the government will invest in training and skills training opportunities for those most affected by job losses and help diversify sectors to include more women and other underrepresented groups so everyone has a fair chance to work and succeed.

Even though Canada’s labour force participation has recovered faster than other jurisdictions, we still have work to do (Chart 3.14 and Chart 3.15).

Chart 3.14
Change in the Labour Force Participation Rate, 2020
Chart 3.14: Change in the Labour Force Participation Rate, 2020

Note: Participation rate is the labour force as a share of the population aged 15 to 64, except for Germany (all ages) and the United States (16-64).

Source: Haver Analytics.

Text version
Change in the Labour Force Participation Rate, 2020 (percentage point)
  Canada Germany France Japan Australia United States Italy United Kingdom
Q1 to Q2 (percentage point) -3.56667 -0.2 -2.3 -0.8 -2.8 -2.4 -2.7 -0.4
Q1 to Q3 (percentage point)  0.2 -0.1 -0.1 -0.5 -1.033333333 -1.6 Nil Nil
Chart 3.15
Employment, February to October 2020
Chart 3.15: Employment, February to October 2020

Source: Haver Analytics.

Text version
Employment, February to October 2020 (index: February 2020 = 100)
  Australia Canada Germany Italy Japan United States
Jan
2019
98.08308 98.44706 98.05484 99.75518 99.00638 98.47242
Feb
2019
98.11385 98.72169 98.17202 99.83249 99.49577 98.47307
Mar
2019
98.34077 98.72065 98.33607 100.3651 99.7034 98.56949
Apr
2019
98.55308 99.22978 98.50012 100.3608 99.46611 98.70723
May
2019
98.86077 99.27564 98.66417 100.5884 99.43645 98.76298
Jun
2019
98.87769 99.27981 98.82822 100.8333 99.5106 98.88235
Jul
2019
99.06923 99.2105 98.96883 100.3995 99.67374 99.0096
Aug
2019
99.39769 99.60343 99.15632 100.2964 99.8517 99.14537
Sep
2019
99.46385 99.82021 99.36724 100.2534 99.83687 99.28179
Oct
2019
99.27846 99.80354 99.62503 100.1246 100.1335 99.40313
Nov
2019
99.51231 99.52005 99.83595 100.4553 100.2373 99.57432
Dec
2019
99.75846 99.66231 100.0234 99.96564 100.3263 99.69501
Jan
2020
99.84846 99.8421 100.0703 99.90121 99.95551 99.83537
Feb
2020
100 100 100 100 100 100
Mar
2020
99.97692 94.73303 99.83595 99.40297 99.83687 99.09945
Apr
2020
95.30462 84.34292 99.60159 98.15737 98.25004 85.46533
May
2020
93.27231 85.85209 99.32037 97.8696 98.30936 87.25264
Jun
2020
95.02462 90.81785 99.06257 97.73215 98.428 90.38849
Jul
2020
95.94154 92.99874 98.87509 98.18315 98.59113 91.54352
Aug
2020
97.21231 94.27965 98.78135 98.56112 98.75426 92.52278
Sep
2020
96.88538 96.25053 98.75791 98.58689 98.69494 92.96354
Oct
2020
98.26077 96.68619 #N/A #N/A #N/A 93.382
Investing in Training and Skills

Many Canadians who already faced barriers to employment are at risk of falling further behind as a result of the pandemic. This could have a long-term impact on their ability to build a career and create financial security for themselves and their families.
To help build a stronger workforce, the Government of Canada has already announced that it will invest an additional $1.5 billion in the Workforce Development Agreements with provinces and territories to offer Canadians the skills training and employment support they need. This is in addition to the $3.4 billion already being provided by the federal government to provinces and territories under the Labour Market Development Agreements and Workforce Development Agreements in 2020-2021. The government has also provided the provinces and territories greater flexibility to administer these agreements. This support will respond to the increased number of Canadians looking to re-enter the workforce, particularly workers and employers in hard-hit sectors and groups disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic.

3.3.1.2 An Action Plan for Women in the Economy

The government is committed to ensuring that its job plan addresses the unique characteristics of this crisis and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on women. While past recessions have tended to affect the goods sector more heavily, the COVID crisis has hit service industries harder, with disproportionate impacts on women . In addition, the care impacts of the crisis (sickness as well as school and child care centre closures) have more often than not been borne by women. An appropriate stimulus plan needs to address these unequal impacts.

As announced in the Speech from the Throne, the government will create an Action Plan for Women in the Economy to help more women get back into the workforce and to ensure a feminist, intersectional response to this pandemic and recovery. By doing this, we are strengthening the economy as a whole, and that is good for everyone.

3.3.1.3 Towards a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System

Investing in accessible, high-quality, affordable and inclusive child care is not only good for families, it makes good economic sense. It gives children a good start in life and gives parents, especially mothers, the support they need to maintain good jobs and provide for their families. In Quebec, where the provincial government has been investing in high-quality accessible child care for over two decades, maternal labour force participation rates were 5 to 9 percentage points higher than in the rest of Canada in 2019. In particular, Quebec women with children under 3 have some of the highest employment rates in the world. Not only do good jobs help families individually, but increased maternal labour force participation is good for economic growth and increases GDP per capita. Just as Saskatchewan once showed Canada the way on health care and British Columbia showed Canada the way on pricing pollution, Quebec can show us the way on child care.

Across the country, child care providers have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial lockdown meant the closure of most child care operations across the country. Even as the economy reopened, the implementation of new public health practices and the uneven return of children in care have resulted in financial challenges for many providers, and made more precarious the work of over 200,000 early childhood educators and child care workers across the country.

This is happening against the backdrop of what many experts like Armine Yalnizyan are calling a “She-cession.” In September, the number of mothers who worked less than half of their usual hours for reasons most likely related to COVID-19 was 70 per cent higher than in February, compared with 24 per cent among fathers.

Private sector, social sector and labour leaders agree that child care is a vital part of our social infrastructure that has been weakened by COVID-19. Pre-pandemic, most provinces and territories in Canada had only enough licensed child care spaces to accommodate 40 per cent or fewer children younger than six years of age. The sector was hit hard by the spring lockdown and is facing new financial challenges as new public health practices and physical distancing are implemented.

Fees have always varied widely from region to region, with some families seeing prices as high as $2,000 a month per child in some cities. Lower-income families who need a subsidized space often face long waiting lists. According to a recent study, many families find child care to be even less affordable than housing, seen by many to be “an unattainable luxury”.

Accessible and affordable child care helps create jobs and spurs economic growth. Investments in child care create more jobs compared to similar levels of investment in other industries, by not only creating direct employment for child care workers, but also enabling growth in women’s labour force participation.

Now is the time to make long-term, sustained investments so that every Canadian family has access to affordable and high-quality child care. As a first step, this Fall Economic Statement is announcing key early investments to lay the groundwork for a Canada-wide child care system, in partnership with provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples.

December 7, 2020, will mark the 50th anniversary of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, a hallmark report that called for the federal government to immediately work with the provinces and territories to establish a national day care system. Those who were children when the report came out are now parents and grandparents. Canadians have waited, for generations, for their government to answer the call. On the eve of this anniversary, the government is committed to making historic investments to make this happen. Budget 2021 will lay out the plan to provide affordable, accessible, inclusive and high-quality child care from coast to coast to coast. This will also include enhanced support for before- and after-school care for older children – in order to provide all parents with the flexibility needed to balance work and family.

Bringing Partners Together Towards a Common Vision
Sustaining Previous Investments in Early Learning and Child Care

In Budgets 2016 and 2017, the federal government invested $7.5 billion over 11 years in early learning and child care. These investments have enhanced fee subsidies for families across the country, and created new quality, affordable spaces, including for parents that work non-traditional hours as well as for children from diverse populations.

Results to Date of Federal Investment in Early Learning and Child Care

Federal funding for early learning and child care since 2017 has supported the creation of almost 40,000 more affordable child care spaces, as well as training and professional development for 1,780 early childhood educators and staff across Canada, including:

  • In New Brunswick, where almost 80 per cent of early learning and child care centres received funding to implement a low-fee policy, and to improve their capacity to serve children with disabilities and diverse learning needs;
  • In Ontario, where federal and provincial funding supported grants for 1,570 child care workers to upgrade their skills and receive Early Childhood Educator Diplomas; and,
  • In Saskatchewan, where new federal funding has supported the creation of 768 additional regulated child care spaces, including in the Fransaskois communities of Regina, Prince Albert and Vonda.
Supporting the Early Childhood Educator Workforce

The recruitment and retention of early childhood educators is a challenge across Canada. These workers often earn low wages, have minimal job protections and lack career development opportunities. Supporting the valuable work of early childhood educators is key to the success of a high-quality child care system, especially one which will expand the number of spaces across the country.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity

In February 2020, 96 per cent of early childhood educators and assistants were women, as were 97 per cent of home child care providers. In 2016, according to the Census, visible minorities accounted for 21 per cent of all wage earners, but they accounted for 24 per cent of early childhood educators and assistants and 41 per cent of home child care providers. Immigrants were similarly overrepresented, accounting for 27 per cent of early childhood educators and assistants and 33 per cent of home child care providers, but only 23 per cent of all wage earners. Recent immigrants were particularly overrepresented among home child care providers, accounting for 11 per cent of earners in this occupation, compared to only 4 per cent of wage earners in all occupations.

The government will also engage provinces and territories on future sustained investments in support of an Early Childhood Educator Workforce Strategy – as a key enabling feature of a Canada-wide child care system.

3.3.1.4 Immediate Support for Families with Children

Many families have been struggling with a wide range of expenses during the pandemic – from providing care to buying tools for at-home learning like books and technology. Many families with young children also had to find temporary alternatives to their regular child care arrangements which, for many, meant higher costs.

3.3.1.5 Better Working Conditions for the Care Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the low wages and poor working conditions of our essential workers, including of those personal support workers caring for our seniors and other vulnerable Canadians. Often, their employers do not offer the same opportunities to save for retirement that better-paid workers enjoy.

3.3.1.6 Creating Opportunities for Youth

Young people continue to suffer disproportionate economic among other impacts due to COVID-19. The government is working to ensure the pandemic does not derail their futures. Making sure they can turn their hard-earned knowledge and skills into secure, well-paying jobs is important for their success, and important for Canada’s future prosperity.

The government proposes to build on the employment, job skills development and educational supports provided to youth and students over the summer, including the doubling of student grants and funding for new career opportunities, by introducing additional measures that will ease the financial burden on students and provide more opportunities for young people to gain work experience.

Enhancing Canada Summer Jobs funding
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
Eliminating Interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans
Preparing People for Good Jobs
Jobs and Training for Vulnerable Populations Measure Description FES 2020 Funding
TOTAL in 2021-22
Foreign Credential Recognition Program Expanding existing supports to attract skilled newcomers to Canada’s in-demand sectors. Up to 15,000 skilled newcomers would benefit. $15M
Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Provide training and supports to young, Indigenous people, Indigenous people with disabilities, and out-of-territory and vulnerable Indigenous people to prepare them for good jobs. This funding also helps improve labour market data and service delivery. $144.2M
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Support persons with disabilities by creating inclusive workplaces, supporting career advancement and increasing support for existing activities. $65M
Women’s Employment Readiness Pilot Establish a new pilot program to support marginalized women by providing and testing pre-employment and skill development supports. $50M over two years
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Helping Canadians aged 15-30 by supporting approximately 43,500 job placements over two years, of which approximately 17,500 are new job placements.   $575.3M over two years
Canada Summer Jobs Supporting 120,000 job placements for young Canadians ages 15-30 in 2021-22, and extend program flexibilities introduced in 2020-21 for one additional year. $447.5M
Total Incremental Funding $1.3B over two years

3.3.1.7 Accelerating the Universal Broadband Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted much of our lives online and transformed how we live, work, and learn. Canadians in many rural and remote communities who still do not have access to high-speed Internet face a barrier to their ability to be equal participants in the economy.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Education and Skills Development

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity

  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

In 2018, only 41 per cent of rural households had access to high-speed Internet (i.e. download at 50 Mbps and upload at 10 Mbps), which is necessary to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the modern Internet. This compares to 98 per cent of urban households in large and medium-sized population centres. On First Nations Reserves, only about 31 per cent of households had access to 50/10 speeds. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urban/rural digital divide and the importance of high-speed Internet access, no matter where Canadians live and work. Many rural Canadians have struggled to work from home, continue their children’s education online, access government services, and maintain social connections with loved ones, all due to poor Internet access.

To accelerate its efforts to ensure all Canadians have access to high-speed Internet, no matter where they live, the government is committing an additional $750 million over five years for larger, high-impact projects. In total, $1.75 billion will be provided over seven years starting in 2020-21 through the Universal Broadband Fund. This level of funding is intended to connect 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026, up from the original target of 95 per cent in that year and 100 per cent of Canadians by 2030.

The Universal Broadband Fund leverages additional broadband investments by telecommunications businesses and also works in partnership with provinces and territories, and arms-length federal institutions, such as the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

3.3.1.8 Compensation for Supply-managed Farmers

The agriculture and agri-food sector is an important contributor to Canada’s economy that is positioned for strong growth and increased exports over the coming years.

Canada is a trading nation and trade is an important part of the government's plan to create jobs and grow during our recovery from the pandemic recession. As part of negotiations for free trade agreements over the last few years, the Government of Canada provided our trading partners with increased access to the domestic market for dairy, poultry and eggs. During negotiations for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the government defended supply management from American efforts to dismantle it. We remain committed to engaging the sector on full and fair compensation for the CUSMA. Canada is delivering on our commitment to full and fair compensation for the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). To deliver on this commitment, the Fall Economic Statement proposes to provide the following compensation to Canada’s over 14,000 supply-managed dairy, poultry and egg farmers:

3.3.1.9 Fighting Systemic Racism and Building Communities

In Canada, systemic racism and discrimination is a painful lived reality for Black Canadians, racialized Canadians, and Indigenous peoples. Data shows that racialized Canadians have experienced many of the worst health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Global events during the pandemic have also shone a spotlight on the realities of racism, particularly anti-Black racism, that still persist, including here in Canada.

Through this Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada is reiterating its commitment to fight racism in all its forms through clear and meaningful investments in a number of key areas: economic opportunity, representation at the highest levels of and throughout the public service, diversity in corporate Canada, modernization of equity legislation to be truly inclusive, community empowerment, and action to address systemic racism in the justice system.

The measures announced herewith reflect the advocacy and hard work of community leaders from across Canada.

Together these measures will begin the long-overdue process of building in institutional practices that prioritize addressing systemic racism. Building on previous investments, these are early steps in the work to be done to make sure that federal policies appropriately serve the historically underserved, in the manner all Canadians deserve.

Governments serve the people above all else and government must listen to and work with all people, directly, to make sure government is accomplishing the work it set out to do. For this reason, senior Government of Canada officials will work directly with community leaders to make sure these programs deliver as intended.

Federal programs are available to all Canadians, but different groups do not always access them equally. Government COVID-19 support for businesses also face this challenge. We cannot prevent economic scarring during the pandemic recession if all eligible Canadian businesses do not have universal access to federal programs. More work will be done to continue to engage, assist and ensure underrepresented groups are able to make use of government support measures.

We need all our businesses to stay strong in order to ensure a swift and inclusive recovery.

Economic Opportunities and Diversity in Procurement

Canada’s prosperity depends on ensuring all Canadians have access to the economic tools to build their businesses and access government procurement. 

Black Entrepreneurship Program

COVID-19 has highlighted and exacerbated existing systemic barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. On September 9, the government in partnership with Canadian financial institutions announced an investment of up to $221 million – including up to $93 million from the Government of Canada over the next four years – to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. This will help to ensure equitable access to support and opportunities for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.

The program will help thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country recover from this crisis and grow their businesses. The program will be delivered with up to $93 million, including:

Diversity in Procurement
Supporting Diversity and Fairness in the Workplace

Systemic barriers and discrimination in the workplace remain a challenge faced by many Canadians. Proactive approaches are required to tackle barriers and support workplaces to ensure all workers are treated equally in the workplace, including at the highest levels of leadership.

Building a Corporate Canada that Looks Like Canada

In Canada’s business community, women, racialized Canadians, LGBTQ2 Canadians, people with disabilities, and Indigenous people are underrepresented in positions of influence. The 50‑30 Challenge is a call to action to businesses across Canada to increase diverse representation on corporate boards and in senior management positions. The 50‑30 Challenge asks participating organizations to make two commitments and report regularly on progress towards:

Renewing Our Commitment to Employment Equity

Creating equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplaces will help grow our middle class and build a country where every Canadian has a real and fair chance to succeed. While progress has been made for members of these groups since the Employment Equity Act was passed in 1986, more needs to be done, and the economic effects of COVID 19 must not be allowed to reverse the gains that have been made. At the same time, the nature of work is changing, and Canadians’ understanding of diversity and inclusion has evolved.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice

In an August 2020 crowdsourcing survey, 28 per cent of participants reported having experienced discrimination or having been treated unfairly by others during the pandemic. Gender diverse participants were much more likely to report these experiences (65 per cent), as were people with disabilities (48 per cent), visible minorities (48 per cent), Indigenous people (47 per cent), sexual minorities (45 per cent), and recent immigrants (41 per cent).

Centre for Diversity in the Federal Public Service
Empowering Communities

Communities have lived experience and expertise which must be empowered in our collective efforts to address racism and discrimination.

Supporting Community-led Initiatives
Protecting Communities at Risk of Hate-motivated Crimes
The Justice System and Tackling the Root Causes of Crime

There are systemic issues in the criminal justice system that have resulted in the overrepresentation of certain groups. These persistent issues merit new and proven approaches and greater accountability. 

Impact of Race and Culture Assessments in Sentencing
Supporting Community Justice Centres

3.3.1.10 Growing the Economy through Immigration

The Government of Canada is committed to an immigration system that supports economic growth, diversity, and helps build vibrant, dynamic and inclusive communities. Immigrants play an important role in driving Canada’s economic growth, contributing to half of the average real GDP growth over 2016-2019. Without immigration, Canada’s population would start to decline in slightly more than a decade and potential growth would slow to about 1 per cent per year.

Canada will continue welcoming newcomers who bring the skills our economy needs to grow. Our advantage in immigration helps keep Canada competitive on the world stage.

In the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, the government set out a path for responsible increases to immigration targets. Immigration is also an important factor in helping the Canadian economy recover, drive future growth and create jobs for middle class Canadians. The Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1 per cent of the population of Canada, including 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.

Delivering on increased immigration levels will require that the system that supports application processing for immigration and future citizens – the Global Case Management System – be modernized, moving away from its current cumbersome paper-based system to a digital platform. Through the Economic and Fiscal Snapshot, the government announced $72.1 million for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to begin this work, by stabilizing and standardizing its current information technology infrastructure, building the foundation for a new digital platform, and supporting more efficient processing through the responsible use of data-driven technologies. This modern processing system will contribute to Canada’s world-class immigration system through enhanced client service, operational efficiency and program integrity, ensuring a higher level of service and internal capacity to bring the skills and talents of new Canadians to our communities.

Supporting Skilled Newcomers

Attracting talented workers from around the world is an essential part of the government’s plan to help grow our economy and support the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession.

Skilled newcomers are critical to Canada’s economic growth and recovery, but they are not always able to contribute to their full potential. At the same time, the demand for professionals in key sectors, such as Information Technology (IT), is increasing in many regions across Canada, leading to a situation where there are skilled workers without quality jobs, and quality jobs without skilled workers. These challenges are being exacerbated by the current economic slowdown.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program helps address specific barriers faced by skilled newcomers, such as the length and cost of credential recognition, and has recently expanded its scope to provide direct employment supports.

3.3.1.11 Addressing Affordable Housing and Homelessness

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing housing affordability and homelessness issues, and called attention to the public health risks of substandard and crowded living quarters. Without urgent action by the Government of Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a dramatic increase in homelessness. Affordable housing is also essential for economic fairness and growth.

In 2017, the government committed to reducing chronic homelessness by 50 per cent. The government’s National Housing Strategy has already helped more than a million people find a safe and affordable place to call home, including through significant new support to homeless Canadians. Given this progress, the government promised, in the Speech from the Throne, that it is now focused on eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

The government is providing $1 billion in funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative. This initiative is managed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and funding is available to municipalities, provinces and territories, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations and non-profit organizations. Funding will be used for construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land and conversion of existing buildings into affordable housing units.

Expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative

Finding an affordable place to rent is a challenge across Canada. To address this, the government launched the Rental Construction Financing Initiative in 2017 to provide low-interest loans and mortgage insurance to support the construction of purpose-built rental housing. Borrowers are required to offer units that are accessible, rented at more affordable rates, and adhere to high energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards. To date, the Rental Construction Financing Initiative has supported the construction of over 10,000 new purpose-built rental units in major Canadian cities. 

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

To make homeownership more affordable, the government launched the $1.25 billion First-Time Home Buyer Incentive in September 2019, which gives eligible first-time home buyers the ability to lower their borrowing costs by sharing the cost of buying a home with the government.

The government is expanding the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to enhance eligibility in the higher priced markets of Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. This will help to make home ownership more affordable for Canadians who are buying their first home in these cities. To help people in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria buy a house, the expansion will be available to eligible buyers to purchase a home up to 4.5 times their household income, an increase from the current limit of 4 times household income. Additionally, the eligible buyer’s income threshold is being raised from $120,000 to $150,000 for Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. These changes will come into effect in spring 2021. With a minimum down payment, this targeted expansion will raise the maximum house price for eligible first-time home buyers in these cities from about $505,000—the current program parameters—to about $722,000.

3.3.1.12 Making Communities Safer

Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities. The government proposes to invest in a variety of measures to support public safety by providing resources to community organizations to protect youth from violence, and driving greater accountability among the RCMP to the people they serve.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-being

Air pollution costs Canadians and the Canadian economy billions of dollars per year. Part of this cost is the lost labour from employees who must take time off to recover from air pollution related illnesses or care for young or elderly family members recovering from such illnesses. Given that a greater share of caregiving responsibilities continue to be shouldered by women, the value of this lost labour is likely borne by women. In addition, mortality and morbidity costs from air pollution are not equally distributed across the population. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone (O3) – components of urban smog – have particularly important impacts on health and well-being. Individuals with heart or lung diseases, children and the elderly are the most likely to be at risk of illness from air pollution. In 2012, men and women had a similar share of deaths due to O3, but women had more deaths attributable to PM2.5 than men.

3.3.2 A Competitive, Green Economy

A resilient economy is not just a more inclusive economy, but also one that is sustainable, competitive, and responsive to global demand. We need to invest in meaningful climate action. Failure to do so will only increase the costs and the risks of climate change to all Canadians. COVID-19 has reminded us all of the importance of early, sustained action to address systemic risks that threaten our daily lives.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, our international peers have allocated approximately US$312 billion to support a green recovery. G7 economies such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom have already announced considerable investments in green transition measures including funding for energy efficient renovations, fostering the development of new technologies, such as hydrogen, and electric vehicle infrastructure and incentives. To secure a prosperous future and compete in a changing landscape, Canada must continue to invest to position us as a key player in an increasingly green worldwide economy.

This is why the government has committed to putting climate action at the heart of its plan to create a million jobs. These will be good middle class jobs for today, and for the decades to come, creating opportunities for our current workforce and for our children and grandchildren. Canadians from all regions need to be part of this collective effort, and the government will also work to make many of these traditionally male-dominated industries more inclusive.

Canada remains strongly committed to meeting and exceeding its Paris targets and achieving net-zero by 2050. The government’s plan to do this will be released in the coming weeks. The investments made in Fall Economic Statement 2020 will lay the foundation for a green recovery that will create opportunities for all Canadians.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

A changing climate can mean longer and more intense heat events that can be dangerous for the health of Canadians. For example, during extreme heat events, many people succumb to underlying health conditions, such as respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, while some may experience heat stroke that could result in death. According to Health Canada, while extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for heat-vulnerable groups including older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses or who are physically impaired, socially disadvantaged individuals such as those with low incomes, those who are homeless and those who are living alone, newcomers to Canada and people who work outdoors, most of whom are men. Pregnant women are also at greater risk during extreme heat events, as there is an increased chance of early delivery and stillbirth, and exposure to high temperatures during the first trimester increases the risk of certain types of congenital heart defects. According to the Canadian Disaster Database, seven extreme heat events were reported in Canada between 1900 and 2018 (1912, 1936, 1953, 1963, 1988, 2009, and 2018) causing over 1,750 deaths. Most recently, in 2018, an extreme heat event in Quebec killed 93 people.

3.3.2.1 Action Starts at Home: Home Energy Retrofits

Buildings, including our homes, account for 17 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so helping Canadians make their homes more energy efficient can support our environmental objectives while making homes more comfortable and more affordable to maintain. And will create good, middle-class jobs in their communities.The energy efficiency sector accounted for more than 436,000 direct jobs in 2018.

The government also recognizes that homeowners and landlords need to be able to access simple and affordable financing to make deeper home energy retrofits. Over the coming months the government will outline details of a low-cost loan program that integrates and builds on available energy audits and grants, and which can be easily accessed by Canadians.

3.3.2.2 Zero-emission Vehicle Infrastructure

The government is taking action to help more Canadians choose zero-emission vehicles to support Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Since 2016, the government has invested $226.4 million to build new recharging and refuelling infrastructure along highways and in places where people live and work. To date, 433 charging and fueling stations have been built, and more than 800 are currently under construction.

3.3.2.3 Nature-based Climate Solutions

Investing in nature, and its protection, is among the most affordable climate action governments can take. Forests, wetlands, oceans, and more, absorb and store enormous amounts of carbon, which can mitigate the impacts of climate change, and keep our air and water clean. In fact, nature-based solutions to climate change can provide almost 40 per cent of the emission reductions needed by 2030 – 30 per cent more than previously estimated. Pristine green and blue spaces provide recreational opportunities that improve quality of life and are part of Canadian culture and identity.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

Climate change disproportionately impacts vulnerable groups such as children, seniors, women and people living off the land and in the North through socio-economic impacts on community health, well-being and livelihoods. For example, people living on First Nations reserves in Canada are on average 18 times more likely to be evacuated because of natural disaster events compared to people living off reserve. Nature-based solutions are intended to help reduce these community impacts.

3.3.2.4 Public Transit Infrastructure

Public transit gives Canadians faster, cheaper, and cleaner ways to get around. It also enhances our economy’s productivity, reduces congestion and pollution, provides efficient and affordable commuting options, and improves quality of life. Investing in public transit helps grow local economies and create more livable, vibrant, and inclusive communities.

That is why, in Budget 2017, the government announced unprecedented investments in public transit infrastructure as part of the Investing in Canada Plan.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity

New Canadians are overrepresented as users of public transit. According to the 2016 Census, immigrants accounted for 24 per cent of all commuters, but 40 per cent of commuters using public transit. Recent immigrants accounted for 3 per cent of all commuters, but 9 per cent of public transit users. Immigrant women were more likely to use public transit than immigrant men, representing 60 per cent of all immigrant public transit users, but only 48 per cent of immigrant commuters. Non-immigrant women are also more likely to use public transportation than non-immigrant men.

To build on these investments the government will outline its next steps on public transit, including its plan to help electrify public transit systems across Canada, and provide permanent public transit funding, in partnership with the provinces and territories.

This investment will accelerate Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, accelerate growth in local economies, and accelerate improvement to Canadians’ quality of life.

3.3.2.5 Strategic Interties

Canada has immense clean energy resources but many regions of this country still rely on coal power. Getting clean power to more communities remains a challenge as traditional financing models make it difficult for electricity providers to build large-scale transmission projects while keeping rates affordable for customers.

To bring clean power to more Canadians and accelerate Canada’s coal phase-out, the government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to help build new electricity transmission infrastructure with support from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). As part of its $10 billion Growth Plan, the CIB has earmarked $2.5 billion for clean power and is currently working in collaboration with provincial and regional partners to connect Canadians to clean electricity across Canada through the Atlantic Loop and other regional projects.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Growth Plan

In October 2020, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced a $10 billion Growth Plan to invest in infrastructure that will create good jobs for Canadians, build stronger communities, and make the economy more sustainable and resilient for everyone. Over the next three years, the CIB will work in partnership with provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous communities, and leverage the private sector, to build infrastructure across Canada.

  • $2.5 billion for clean power to support renewable generation and storage and to transmit clean electricity between provinces, territories, and regions, including to northern and Indigenous communities;
  • $2 billion to connect about 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities;
  • $2 billion to invest in large-scale building retrofits;
  • $1.5 billion for agriculture irrigation projects; and
  • $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and associated charging infrastructure.

To accelerate the delivery of projects in which the CIB intends to invest, the plan will also allocate $500 million for project development and early construction works.

3.3.2.6 Sustainable Finance

Mobilizing private sector capital is critical to financing the transition to a low-carbon economy. Around the world, institutions and investors are increasingly factoring environmental, social and governance considerations into their business and investment decisions, and evaluating the climate change risks and climate action opportunities of their assets and portfolios. Developing sustainable finance in Canada will promote the long-term growth and stability of our financial system in the face of climate change. Sustainable finance will also create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and investors.

The government has committed $7.3 million over three years for the Department of Finance Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to create a public-private Sustainable Finance Action Council aimed at developing a well-functioning sustainable finance market in Canada.

The Action Council will make recommendations on critical market infrastructure needed to attract and scale sustainable finance in Canada, including enhancing climate disclosures, ensuring access to useful data on sustainability and climate risks, and developing standards for investments to be identified as sustainable. The government will launch the Action Council in early 2021.

3.3.2.7 Building the Foundation for a Net-zero Carbon Future

Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is a pan-Canadian project to transform our economy, and is a commitment Canada joins with over 120 other countries. As such, it is critical to maintaining our competitiveness and ability to create and sustain good, middle class jobs across all sectors of the economy.

On November 19, 2020, the government delivered on its commitment to legislate Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by introducing bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act,to Parliament. This legislation would legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and require the Minister of Finance to report annually on key measures that the federal government, including Crown Corporations, has taken to manage climate-related financial risks and opportunities.

The work to achieve net-zero emissions requires continued, urgent, systemic and sustained action from all orders of government, the financial sector, businesses, communities and individual Canadians. It requires working together across our country to build a better, cleaner future for all Canadians. To create long-term jobs, we need to secure long-term investments, and investors and consumers are increasingly supporting low-carbon, climate-resilient projects.

Canadians are full of innovative new ideas that will lead to the development and deployment of important new clean technologies. In particular, Canadians can lead the development and deployment of new zero-emission technologies. This includes technologies that create carbon-free heat and electricity. Following on the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Roadmap released in 2018, the government intends to launch an SMR Action Plan by the end of 2020 to lay out the next steps to develop and deploy this technology. The government intends to work with interested parties, including New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, to advance this important work. The government’s upcoming climate plan will highlight further work and investments in areas like renewables, clean fuels, and hydrogen.

Canadian firms face challenges in scaling-up their operations. Often, they cannot get access to the right financing when needed. Targeted action by the government to mobilize private capital will better position Canadian firms to bring their technologies to market, unlocking both the economic and environmental potential of the growing global clean technology market.

3.3.2.8 Border Carbon Adjustments

The government is committed to ensuring that Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy is achieved in a way that is fair and predictable for our businesses, and supports Canada’s international competitiveness. To this end, the government is exploring the potential of border carbon adjustments, and will be discussing this issue with our international partners. Border carbon adjustments are about levelling the playing field across jurisdictions on carbon pricing: they propose to establish a carbon fee on imports from countries that do not have carbon pricing so that those products face the same costs as those supplied by domestic producers who pay a price on carbon pollution. 

The government will work with like-minded economies, including the European Union and our North American partners, to consider how this approach could fit into a broader strategy to meet climate targets while ensuring a fair environment for businesses.

3.3.3 Reconciliation

In 2015, the Government of Canada promised a new relationship with Indigenous peoples – one that would help deliver a better quality of life for families and communities. Building back to a better, more inclusive Canada will mean building stronger Indigenous communities with access to safe drinking water and community infrastructure. Healthy communities are prosperous communities, which is why the Government of Canada will continue to make progress towards a co-developed, distinctions-based approach to improving health and well-being outcomes for Indigenous peoples. Building a better future also means acknowledging the past, including the legacy of colonization. The Government of Canada remains committed to walking the road of reconciliation. We will work together with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation partners, and all Canadians, to end the national tragedy of violence towards Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.

3.3.3.1 Supporting Infrastructure in Indigenous Communities

There is a significant gap in infrastructure in Indigenous communities when compared with non-Indigenous communities in Canada. This can affect overall quality of life, widen socio-economic gaps and reduce Indigenous peoples’ participation in the economy. To keep building strong communities together, the government proposes to invest:

3.3.3.2 Supporting Health and Well-being in Indigenous Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how critical access to health care is to safety, security and long-term economic prosperity. Now more than ever, the government is committed to making high quality health care, designed to meet the unique needs of Indigenous communities, a reality for Indigenous peoples.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

Compared to Indigenous men, Indigenous women are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to pre-existing conditions and they are more likely to be providing care. According to Phase 3 of the First Nations Regional Health Survey, with data collected between March 2015 and December 2016, among First Nations adults, a higher percentage of women (47 per cent) than men (36 per cent) reported having two or more chronic health conditions, which may indicate that Indigenous women are at higher risk of needing long-term medical and personal care. Women also make up the vast majority of care and personal support workers. For example, according to the 2016 Census, 93 per cent of Indigenous Registered Nurses were women.

3.3.4.3 Mercury Treatment Centres

Since the 1960s, the First Nations communities of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) and Wabaseemoong have suffered from the physical and mental effects of mercury poisoning due to the contamination of the English-Wabigoon river system. Residents experience higher rates of chronic health problems related to mercury exposure and the programs and services currently available in the communities do not meet their unique health care needs. Community members are often required to travel to urban centres for extended stays to receive specialized treatment or access long-term care.

3.3.3.4 National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls laid bare the long-lasting effects of colonization, discrimination and stigmatization. Thanks to the brave voices and tireless efforts of survivors, loved ones, truth keepers and advocacy organizations, the National Inquiry’s Final Report, and its 231 Calls for Justice, provides a roadmap to move beyond a legacy of silence and inaction and put an end to systemic violence and discrimination against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.

Gender Results Framework

Gender Equality and Diversity in Canada

  • Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice

Women in Canada are more likely than men to experience gender-based violence, a reality which has been compounded by pandemic restrictions. According to 2018 police-reported data, women accounted for almost 8 in 10 victims (79 per cent) of intimate partner violence. Some populations are at higher risk for gender-based violence, including Indigenous women (on- and off-reserve), women living with a disability, women living in rural and remote communities, and LGBT2Q populations.

For example, self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) show that Indigenous women were three times more likely to have experienced spousal violence than non-Indigenous women. Additionally, in the 2018 Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces, Indigenous women living in the provinces were more likely than non-Indigenous women to report experiencing violence since the age of 15 (55 per cent versus 38 per cent, respectively).

Healing and reconciliation, however, require action. Together with families and survivors and provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, the government is working toward the development and implementation of a distinctions-based, regionally relevant and accountable National Action Plan. The government is also investing to make communities safer for Indigenous women and children and address systemic discrimination against Indigenous Peoples. Early actions include extending critical supports to families and survivors, supporting the Moose Hide Campaign, the renewal of the Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative, supporting the construction and operation of new shelters in Indigenous communities, and the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act and An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.

Building on these investments, the government proposes to invest an additional $781.5 million over 5 years starting in 2021–22, and $106.3 million ongoing to combat systemic discrimination against Indigenous peoples and expand efforts to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people. This includes:

Chapter 3
Building Back Better
millions of dollars
  2020–
2021  
2021–
2022  
2022–
2023  
2023–
2024  
2024–
2025  
2025–
2026  
Total Included in or Announced:
3.3.1 An Inclusive Recovery 1,840 4,185 569 529 576 520 8,219  
- Investing in Training and Skills                
Investments in Workforce Development Agreements with Provinces and Territories
Profile included in summary table at the end of chapter 2.
Training Supports for Vulnerable Populations - 224 35 - - - 259 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.2 An Action Plan for Women in the Economy                
Action Plan for Women in the Economy 0.3 0.6 - - - - 0.9 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.3 Towards a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System - 509 18 20 19 19 585  
Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care - 2 4 5 4 4 20 New in this fall Economic Statement
Sustaining the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Secretariat, and building Indigenous Governance Capacity - 12 14 15 15 15 70 New in this fall Economic Statement
Supporting the Early Childhood Educator Workforce - 420 - - - - 420 New in this fall Economic Statement
Improving the Quality and Accessibility of Indigenous Child Care Programs - 75 - - - - 75 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.4 Immediate Support for Families with Children                
Immediate Support for Families with Children 580 1,775 - - - - 2,355 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.6 Creating Opportunities for Youth - 1,284 58 - - - 1,342  
Enhancing Canada Summer Jobs funding - 448 - - - - 448 New in this fall Economic Statement
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy - 516 60 - - - 575 New in this fall Economic Statement
Eliminating Interest on Canada Student Loans (Net) - 321 -2 - - - 319 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.7 Accelerating the Universal Broadband Fund                
Universal Broadband Fund: Acceleration and Top-Up
58 154 165 248 333 263 1,221 Policy Action Announced since the July 2020 Snapshot
3.3.1.8 Compensation for Supply-managed Farmers 1,197 -102 -108 -115 -120 -118 635  
Compensation for supply-managed dairy, poultry and egg farmers 1,405 109 105 102 102 102 1,925 New in this fall Economic Statement
Less: Funds from Previous Budgets or Fall Statements
-208 -210 -214 -217 -222 -220 -1,290  
3.3.1.9 Fighting Systemic Racism and Building Communities 4 55 53 24 14 14 164  
Black Entrepreneurship Program
Profile included in summary table at the end of chapter 2.
Building a Corporate Canada that looks like Canada - 13 10 10 - - 33 New in this fall Economic Statement
Task Force on Modernizing the Employment Equity Act - 7 - - - - 7 New in this fall Economic Statement
Workplace Opportunities and Barriers to Equity Program Expansion - - 4 4 4 4 14 New in this fall Economic Statement
Centre for Diversity in the Federal Public Service 4 4 4 - - - 12 New in this fall Economic Statement
Supporting Community-led Initiatives that combat Racism and promote Multiculturalism - 25 25 - - - 50 New in this fall Economic Statement
Protecting Communities at Risk of Hate-motivated Crimes - 3 3 3 3 3 13 New in this fall Economic Statement
Impact of Race and Culture Assessments in Sentencing - 1 1 1 2 2 7 New in this fall Economic Statement
Supporting Community Justice Centres - 4 7 6 6 6 29 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.10 Growing the Economy through Immigration - 188 170 143 131 132 765  
2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan - 173 170 143 131 132 750 Policy Action Announced since the July 2020 Snapshot
Supporting Skilled Newcomers - Foreign Credential Recognition Program - 15 - - - - 15 New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.11 Affordable Housing - 44 69 100 118 128 458  
Rapid Housing Initiative
Profile included in summary table at the end of chapter 2.
Expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative - 44 69 100 118 128 458 New in this fall Economic Statement
First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Expansion - - - - - - - New in this fall Economic Statement
3.3.1.12 Making Communities Safer - 53 109 109 82 82 434  
Prevention of Gang-related Violence - 15 59 59 59 59 250 New in this fall Economic Statement
Equipping RCMP Officers with Body-worn Cameras (gross) - 38 50 50 50 50 239 New in this fall Economic Statement
Less: Costs Recovered - - - - -27 -27 -54  
3.3.2 A Competitive, Green Economy 174 685 782 1,265 1,260 569 4,735  
Home Energy Retrofits 122 299 453 818 817 110 2,619 New in this fall Economic Statement
 Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure - 20 65 65 - - 150 New in this fall Economic Statement
Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program Top-up
54 232 - - 1 - 287 Policy Action Announced since the July 2020 Snapshot
Nature Based Climate Solutions: Planting 2 Billion Trees - 71 209 301 357 372 1,309 New in this fall Economic Statement
Nature Based Climate Solutions: Climate Smart Ecosystems - 38 55 79 85 87 344 New in this fall Economic Statement
Support for Commercial Tree Planting in 2020 and 2021
Profile included in summary table at the end of chapter 2.
Strategic Interties - 25 - - - - 25 New in this fall Economic Statement
Sustainable Finance - 2 2 2 - - 7 New in this fall Economic Statement
Less: Funds from 2020 Snapshot -2 -2 -2 - - - -7  
3.3.4 Reconciliation 391 826 267 368 385 267 2,503  
Supporting Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in First Nations Communities   365 731 84 86 100 114 1,479 New in this fall Economic Statement
Supporting Infrastructure in Indigenous Communities 26 198 229 239 230 253 1,175 New in this fall Economic Statement
Less: Funds from Existing Resources   -198 -229 -239 -230 -253 -1,149  
Co-Development of Distinctions-Based Health Legislation - 13 3 - - - 16 New in this fall Economic Statement
Mercury Treatment Centres - 28 32 70 70 - 200 New in this fall Economic Statement
Supporting a National Action Plan for Ending Violence against Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit People - 54 148 212 215 152 782 New in this fall Economic Statement
Total -                
Policy Actions since EFS 2020
58 327 336 391 464 395 1,972  
New Investments in Chapter 3
2,346 5,370 1,282 1,770 1,757 960 13,485  
Chapter 3 – Net Fiscal Impact 2,405 5,697 1,618 2,162 2,221 1,356 15,457  
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