Federal Budget Released

The federal budget released this week contains a few items that should be of interest to our sector.  Below we have outlined for you a few of the programs that will be continued as a result of the lockdown and on-going pandemic or other related items that could affect school bus operators.

Emergency Wage Subsidy, Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support

The government is proposing to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.  This was scheduled to end in June 2021 and if passed, will breathe new life into the program until the fall.

Enhancing the Canada Small Business Financing Program

A new program is being proposed to make sure small business and independent entrepreneurs can access the capital they need to recover, innovate, and grow in the long-term, Budget 2021 proposes to improve the Caada Small Business Financing Program. These proposed amendments are projected to increase annual financing by $560 million, supporting approximately 2,900 additional small businesses.

Introducing a New Canada Recovery Hiring Program

A new $595 million Canada Recovery Hiring Program is being introduced to make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new ones by providing eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 percent on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6, 2021, and November 20, 2021.

Employers eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would generally be eligible for the hiring subsidy, however, an eligible employer would be permitted to claim either the hiring subsidy or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for a particular qualifying period, but not both.

Other Noteworthy Items in the Budget:

  • extending emergency supports to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through to recovery, including:
    • Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.
    • Extending the number of weeks available for important income support for Canadians such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
  • Enhancing Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
  • Increasing Old Age Security for seniors age 75 and older to provide them with better financial security.
  • Supporting small and medium-sized businesses through several transformative programs, such as:
    • A new Canada Digital Adoption Program that will assist over 160,000 businesses with the cost of new technology. And it will provide them with the advice they need to get the most of new technology with the help of 28,000 young Canadians who will be trained to work with them.
    • Allowing Canadian small businesses to fully expense up to $1.5 million in capital investments in a broad range of assets, including digital technology and intellectual property. This represents an additional $2.2 billion investment in the growth of Canada’s entrepreneurs over the next five years.
The full budget document can be found here: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html