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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

Trudeau, Freeland urge opposition to pass budget as soon as possible

Friday, April 30, 2021 @ 3:43 PM | By Ian Burns

The federal government has unveiled legislation which would formally implement the budget it introduced last week, and is calling on opposition MPs to get it through the minority House of Commons quickly as Canada continues to face the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021, and other measures, in Parliament April 30. The government’s $101.4-billion spending plan includes money to create a Canadawide early learning and child-care system, increases Old Age Security (OAS) for seniors age 75, enhances EI sickness benefits and creates an emergency top up of $5 billion for provinces and territories to help address immediate health-care system pressures.

 Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

“This budget is about finishing the fight against COVID-19. It’s about healing the wounds left by the COVID-19 recession,” she said. “And it’s about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days — and decades — to come.”

The budget also extends some of the major COVID-19 support programs, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), and creates new programs such as the Canada Recovery Hiring Program which will help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who heads a minority government, urged all the parties in the House of Commons to get together to pass the budget as soon as possible.

 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“With this legislation we are setting the foundation for strong economic growth, and these measures will help you get through what is hopefully the last stretch of this pandemic,” he said at his April 30 press conference. “This is about how we set ourselves up for a stronger, faster recovery that includes everyone.”

Freeland said the budget is about “making concrete, targeted investments to heal the wounds of COVID-19 and put Canada on a long-term track towards higher growth and greater prosperity.” She also echoed Trudeau’s plea to the other political parties to get the bill through Parliament swiftly.

“The legislation takes significant steps to drive future growth investing in our social infrastructure and our physical infrastructure, and in our human capital and our physical capital,” she said. “This budget will make a measurable difference in the lives of millions of Canadians.”

More information about the budget can be found here.

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