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Building Back Better: A Plan to Fight the COVID-19 Recession

Working towards a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable, and creates good jobs for Canadians.

Building back better

The government’s rapid and comprehensive supports have provided an unprecedented $407 billion – nearly 19 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (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. Significant federal government support throughout the pandemic is working well to put Canada in a stronger position for a robust recovery, especially when compared to international peers.

To ensure a robust and resilient recovery, the government is developing a plan to help Canada build back better, by preparing to invest up to between $70 billion and $100 billion over the next three fiscal years – roughly valued at between 3 to 4 per cent of GDP. The stimulus will help us grow out of this recession towards an economy that is greener, more innovative, more inclusive and more competitive. Measures the government takes now are a down payment on Canada’s recovery plan.

An Inclusive Recovery

Inequality makes our economy less resilient. Canada’s recovery must ensure that young people have opportunities to gain skills and work experience, that all Canadians have a roof over their heads, that women can 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.

Creating One Million Jobs

The government is focused on measures to restore employment to previous levels and promote good, full time, middle class jobs. Importantly, the government will invest in skills and 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.

Investing in Training and Skills

To help build a stronger workforce and prepare people for good jobs, the government has provided a one-year enhancement to the Workforce Development Agreements with provinces and territories to offer Canadians the skills training and employment support they need. The government also proposes to bolster training support for those hardest hit by the pandemic, including women, and racialized Canadians, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and newcomers to Canada.

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. The government is announcing the creation of a task force of diverse experts to help develop this plan. The government will bring the task force together in the coming weeks to begin the work of advising the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on policies and measures to be included in the government’s stimulus plan.

Early Learning and Child Care System

Investing in accessible, high-quality 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 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.

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 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.

Now is the time to make long-term, sustained investments so that every Canadian family has access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive 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, and the federal government’s commitment to working in partnership with provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples.

Proposed Investments

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. This includes costs for healthy food, deliveries of baby supplies and temporary alternatives to their regular child care arrangements.

Proposed Investments

Fighting Systemic Racism and Building Communities

Systemic racism and discrimination is a painful lived reality for Black Canadians, racialized Canadians and Indigenous peoples. Data show that racialized Canadians have experienced many of the worst health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Through this Fall Economic Statement, the government is reiterating its commitment to fight racism in all its forms.

Black Entrepreneurship Program

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 ensure equitable access to support and opportunities for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. It will help thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs recover from this crisis and grow their businesses.

Other Proposed Investments

Creating Opportunities for Youth

Young people continue to suffer disproportionately due to COVID-19. The government is working to ensure the pandemic does not derail their futures.

Proposed Investments

Housing and Homelessness

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing housing affordability and homelessness, 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.

Proposed Investments

A Competitive, Green Economy

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. The investments made in Fall Economic Statement 2020 will lay the foundation for a green recovery that will create opportunities for all Canadians.

Helping Canadians Take Climate Action

By supporting efforts to make homes greener and more energy efficient, Canadians can reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills. Investments in building ZEV charging stations in the places Canadians live, work and travel will help accelerate Canadians’ use of zero-emission vehicles.

Proposed Investments

Nature-based Climate Solutions – 2 Billion Trees

Investing in nature, and its protection, is among the most affordable climate action governments can take. Forests, wetlands and oceans, absorb and store enormous amounts of carbon, which can mitigate the impacts of climate change, and keep our air and water clean.

Proposed Investments

Building the Foundation of a Net-zero Carbon Future

Canada remains strongly committed to meeting and exceeding its Paris targets and achieving net-zero by 2050. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act was recently introduced in Parliament and is an important part of Canada’s work to address the threat of climate change and bring together innovations from across the financial sector, businesses, communities and Canadians themselves. This legislation would legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and require the government to report annually on key measures that the federal government, including Crown Corporations, has taken to manage climate-related financial risks and opportunities.

Reconciliation

The Government of Canada remains committed to walking the road of reconciliation. A better, more inclusive Canada will mean building stronger Indigenous communities with access to safe drinking water and community infrastructure. 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. The Government of Canada 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.

Proposed Investments

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