The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but women in particular have been hard hit financially. As schools closed and child care was disrupted, it was women that largely cut back on work to care for children. For a strong economy, women must have an ability to fully participate in the economy, and that is why universal childcare is a pillar in Budget 2021. Quality childcare is not just good for women, it’s good for families and it’s definitely good for our economy when everyone can participate. We’re investing $30 billion to partner with provinces and territories that will result in childcare fees that are 50 per cent lower by 2022 and only $10 a day by 2026.
Every Canadian should have a safe place to live and call home. Building on the success of the Rapid Housing Initiative, Budget 2021 invests an additional $1.5 billion over the next year to build more homes for the families that need it most. Our plan focuses on the most vulnerable — women, Indigenous peoples, and seniors, all of whom have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.
The people of our region know just how much protecting the environment matters to the health and economy of our communities. Our children are counting on us to protect the lands and waters of our region, so they too can envision a healthy future. We must work to reduce carbon emissions and find new, sustainable ways forward. To that end, Budget 2021 invests $17.6 billion to continue our important work to reduce emissions, protect our environment and build a healthier and fairer future for our children.
COVID-19 continues to pose great health risks to Canadians, and we will continue to be there for Canadians: with vaccination, tests, supports for people and businesses. No matter what it takes to get through this global health crisis, we will be there, with whatever it takes for as long as it takes. Budget 2021 meets the immediate needs we are facing as a country, and lays the foundation for a strong recovery. As always, if you have any questions — don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.