Originally Published April 20, 2021
The Liberal Federal Government is stepping up to help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are 6 ways their budget is making life better for Albertans.
Support for Albertans through the COVID-19 Pandemic
The federal government has committed to continue helping all Canadians, including small and medium-sized businesses, through the pandemic by expanding COVID-19 supports.
The Canada Recovery Benefit will continue for another 12 weeks. EI sickness benefits are enhanced and numerous programs designed to help medium and small businesses extended.
These programs have been critical in assisting Albertans in keeping their heads above water during the pandemic. Prolonging these programs is the right move to keep Albertans safe and supported.
Affordable Childcare is a Priority
The federal Government has announced $30 billion over the next five years for affordable childcare. Their announced goal is to halve fees in the next 18 months and ultimately reduce childcare fees to $10-a-day nationally.
Affordable childcare is critical to helping parents, especially women, participate in the labour market. If Canada and Alberta are to have an equitable economic recovery, this kind of investment is critical.
Will the UCP government cooperate with this move towards a national childcare program, or will they once again make it harder for women to work.
As world markets evolve, Alberta needs to change with them. We need a well-educated workforce to compete in both new industries and changing ones.
The federal budget will waive student loan interest fees for two years. It will double Canada Student Grants’ funding and invest in new internship opportunities for students.
These moves make education more affordable and provide new work experience opportunities for students. Both will give Alberta’s workforce a competitive edge on the global stage.
Carbon Capture and Storage
Over the next 90 days, the Canadian Government will consult with the energy industry to create a tax credit for carbon capture and storage. This new tax credit will help Alberta’s Oil and Gas sector remain competitive while reducing its carbon emissions. A win-win for the industry and the environment.
Support for Affordable Housing
Homelessness can trap people in a cycle of poverty.
The federal budget contains $2.5 billion more in earmarked funds for affordable housing including $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative. This program aims to create new affordable housing for vulnerable Canadians quickly.
Affordable housing initiatives fight back against the cycle of poverty by providing individuals and families with the stability needed to build their lives and contribute to the economy. Funding for these programs is vital.
A Green Recovery
The federal budget sets aside $17 billion in new direct spending and tax relief measures to build a cleaner economy while creating new jobs. This new spending will allow Canada to meet its target under the Paris climate agreement and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It will also create new job opportunities in both traditional and renewable energy sectors.