Federal budget 2021: Ten key points for the innovation economy

The federal Liberal government unveiled its first budget in two years, pledging unprecedented amounts to reverse the deep economic and job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic amid a patchy recovery. The plan comes as the third wave of the pandemic sweeps across the nation’s largest provinces as vaccination efforts ramp up, prompting Ottawa to expand its pandemic support while launching ambitious new initiatives like a national program child care.

Monday’s budget calls for $ 101 billion in new spending over three years, plus billions more in subsequent years. Finance Canada has forecast a deficit of $ 154.7 billion for fiscal year 2021-22. “I truly believe that the biggest danger today is not investing in a strong recovery from the COVID recession, and not investing in stronger, more robust, long-term growth for Canada,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters before tabling the budget in the House of Commons. The government is positioning its billions in spending as an effort to reverse decades of declining real GDP growth.

This is the first budget for Freeland and Deputy Finance Minister Michael Sabia, who assumed their new roles late last year amid the pandemic. It includes programs designed to encourage employers to hire historically marginalized workers and to get companies to adopt new technologies and spend on R & D — all long-standing bottlenecks to productivity in Canada. For the innovation economy, this also includes the largest dollar outlay since the 2017 edition, when the Liberals launched several of their flagship R&D, commercialization and venture capital programs.

Here’s what you need to know:

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