FEDERAL BUDGET 2021
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, presented the federal budget in the House of Commons. CAEM, with the help of our public affairs firm Crestview Strategy, have been analyzing the budget and determining next steps in our advocacy strategy. This is an ongoing process which we will detail in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, here is an overview of the support measures outlined in the budget which directly impact our industry.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- The wage subsidy has been extended until September 25, 2021, with the potential for an extension until November 20, 2021 pending the economic and public health situation. The budget also outlines a gradual decrease to the subsidy rate beginning July 4, 2021 to ensure an orderly phase out of the program as vaccinations are completed and the economy re-opens.
- CAEM has been advocating for an extension to CEWS through June 2022 and while we are heartened by this announcement, rest assured that we will continue to advocate on our industry’s behalf for continued support through re-opening and beyond.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
- Like the wage subsidy, the rent subsidy has also been extended until September 25, 2021 with the possible extension to November 20, 2021 pending the economic and public health situation. A gradual decrease to the subsidy will begin rolling out July 4, 2021 in tandem with vaccine completion and the re-opening of the economy.
- In the same vein as the wage subsidy, CAEM has been advocating for a continuation of the rent subsidy into June 2022 as well a specific request that the rent subsidy be expanded to include the rent show producers pay to facilities. While it is good news that CERS will be extended, CAEM will continue our conversations with government to draw attention to the specific needs of our sector.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
- Budget 2021 proposes the introduction of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The proposed subsidy would offset a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked, or hiring more staff. This support would be for active employees and available from June 6 to November 20, 2021. Eligible employers would claim the higher of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the new proposed subsidy. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to hire new workers as the economy reopens.
- A key message CAEM has emphasized in every meeting with government is how important it will be to have support measures in place to assist with bringing staff back to work from furlough and for hiring new staff. This proposed new program is a step in the right direction and CAEM is very pleased to see this measure included.
Tourism and Events
Budget 2021 also proposes a package of supports for tourism and events totalling $1 billion over three years, starting in 2021 – 2022. CAEM and Crestview Strategy are analyzing the details of this announcement and will be working on next steps to explore how our sector can potentially benefit from this funding. Of particular interest are the following proposed funding streams.
- Tourism Relief Fund: A $500 million Fund administered by the regional development agencies, this Fund will support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting their products and services to public health measures and other investments that will help them recover from the pandemic and position themselves for future growth.
- Community Festivals and Events: A $200 million investment to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.
While there are several positive funding announcements contained in Budget 2021, CAEM recognizes that there is still work to be done to support our members, and the industry as a whole, through what continues to be a very challenging time. Our meetings with MPs are continuing and we will be working with Crestview to further analyze the budget and refine our asks accordingly to ensure that our industry can benefit from the proposed funding programs as much as possible.
As always, we will keep you up to date through our newsletters as our advocacy work continues. Finally, thank you to those who sent letters to your MPs, your action has had a significant impact and as a result we have been able to secure close to 30 meetings in the recent and coming weeks.