Minister Tassi discusses Budget 2021 with small businesses in Hamilton

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HAMILTON, ON, April 29, 2021 /CNW/ - Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada's plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, met virtually with local businesses in Hamilton to discuss investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience that will support Canada's economic recovery.

Despite the severe impacts of the second wave on Canadian workers and businesses, the Government is on track to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year. Budget 2021 recognizes that a rapid and sustained economic recovery is the most reliable way to secure higher employment and income levels, improved and expanded job opportunities, and narrower economic disparities.

Minister Tassi took a virtual tour of locally owned businesses in Hamilton, including the Brewers Blackbird Kitchen and Brewery and the Westdale Theatre. During a roundtable with local Business Improvement Areas, she discussed targeted investments to create jobs and help businesses across all sectors of the economy. These proposed investments include:

  • Establishing a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, rising with inflation, with provisions to ensure that, where provincial or territorial minimum wages are higher, the higher wage will prevail. This will directly benefit more than 26,000 workers who currently make less than $15 per hour in the federally regulated private sector.
  • Introducing the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The proposed subsidy would offset a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked, or hiring more staff.
  • Expanding the Canada Workers Benefit to support about 1 million additional Canadians in low-wage jobs, helping them return to work and increasing benefits for Canada's most vulnerable.
  • Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises by extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021, to ensure that millions of jobs continue to be protected. The rates for the wage subsidy and rent subsidy would gradually decrease, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the programs as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens.

The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women and racialized Canadians. Budget 2021 is a historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada's future will be healthier, more equitable, greener and more prosperous.

The Government of Canada's top priority remains protecting Canadians' health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the Government to take quick and decisive action to support people and businesses, and it put the Government in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.