Federal budget 2021 - measures impacting the food sector

The QPMA salutes the budget presented today by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland. This is the first budget tabled by a woman as Canada's finance minister.

Some highlights from this budget :

  • Wage and commercial rental assistance programs will be extended until September 25. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is extended by 12 weeks, but will be reduced to $300 as of mid-July 2021
  • Announced a new hiring grant program. This provides a subsidy of up to 50% of compensation paid to eligible employees between June 6 and November 20, 2021
  • Increased the Canada Small Business Financing Program to $560 million annually. This will benefit an additional 2,900 small businesses. The money will be used to increase the maximum loan amount from $350,000 to $500,000 and extend the coverage period from 10 years to 15 years. Eligibility will also be extended to intellectual property loans and to assets and expenses of start-up and not-for-profit businesses.
  • Green economy: the government is targeting a 36% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and is investing $17.6 billion over 5 years to achieve this. 





TFW Quarantine Assistance (click here to learn more)

The budget proposes to provide $57.6 million in 2021-22 to expand the Mandatory Isolation Assistance Program for Temporary Foreign Workers to help employers offset the costs associated with isolation requirements for temporary foreign workers upon entry to Canada.

Assistance of up to $1,500 per worker would be provided to employers until June 15, 2021 for the costs of the 14-day isolation period. If workers are required to quarantine at government-approved facilities, due to the lack of appropriate facilities on their employer's premises, employers may receive up to $2,000 per worker for costs associated with mandatory quarantine.

After June 15, 2021, employers would receive $750 per worker until the program closes on August 31, 2021. After August 31, the government intends to phase out this program and will consult with employers on the transition to ensure that migrant workers receive comparable compensation from their employers during their quarantine period.


Helping employers train and recruit workers (click here to learn more) 

The government will step in to help employers train and support retraining professionals, in addition to helping the workforce grow and meet demand.

The budget proposes to provide $960 million in funding over three years, starting in 2021-2022, to Employment and Social Development Canada for a new sectoral workforce solutions program. Working primarily with sector associations and employers, the funding would help design and deliver training tailored to the needs of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises and their employees.

This funding would also help businesses recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.


Enhancing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (click here to learn more)

Funding of $49.5 million over three years, beginning in 2021-2022, to Employment and Social Development Canada to support community-based organizations to provide programs and services focused on migrant workers, such as arrival orientation services and assistance with emergencies and at-risk situations, under the new Migrant Worker Support Program

Funding of $54.9 million over three years, starting in 2021-2022, to Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to increase employer inspections and ensure temporary foreign workers have adequate working conditions and wages.

Funding of $6.3 million over three years, starting in 2021-2022, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to support faster processing and improved service delivery of open work permits for vulnerable workers, which help abused migrant workers find new employment.


Helping SMEs Enter the Digital Age (click here to learn more) 

The government is launching the Canadian Digital Agenda, which will create thousands of jobs for young Canadians and help up to 160,000 small and medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies. This program will provide two streams of funding to businesses.

Some businesses will require more comprehensive support to adopt new technologies, such as small food manufacturing and processing businesses. The support provided to these businesses will focus on technology planning consultants and access to financing options needed to implement these technologies. The 2021 budget proposes to provide $2.6 billion over a four-year period beginning in 2021-2022 to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help small and medium-sized businesses finance technology adoption.


Removing Barriers to Internal Trade (click here to learn more)

In Budget 2019, the federal government removed all federal restrictions on interprovincial trade in alcoholic beverages. Budget 2021 proposes to allocate $21 million over three years, beginning in 2021-2022, to do the following:

  • Work with provincial and territorial partners to strengthen the capacity of the Internal Trade Secretariat in support of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement to more quickly reduce barriers to trade in Canada
  • Advance work with willing partners to create an open and accessible pan-Canadian internal trade data repository to identify and work together to reduce barriers, including licensing and professional certification requirements
  • Pursue internal trade objectives through new or renewed discretionary transfers from the federal government to the provinces and territories.


Supporting innovation and industrial transformation (click here to learn more) 

Budget 2021 proposes to provide $7.2 billion in additional funding over seven years, beginning in 2021-22, and $511.4 million thereafter to the Strategic Innovation Fund.

This funding will be allocated as follows:

  • 2.2 billion over seven years and $511.4 million thereafter to support innovative projects across the economy, including in the life sciences, automotive, aerospace and agriculture sectors
  • 1 billion in support over seven years to grow Canada's life sciences and biomanufacturing sector, restore lost capacity and support innovative Canadian companies and jobs in this sector
  • Budget 2021 proposes $60 million in funding over two years, starting in 2021-22, for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative


Improving food security (click here for more information)

The budget proposes to provide $140 million in 2021-2022 to enhance the Emergency Food Security Fund and the Local Food Infrastructure Fund. This is in addition to the $250 million in funding allocated in 2020-2021.

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