Ron McKinnon
Ron McKinnon
Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
Budget 2021 –Analysis by Ron McKinnon, MP - What is in Budget 2021 for Business?
May 14, 2021

What is in Budget 2021 for Coquitlam for Business?

Establishing a $15 Federal Minimum Wage

Canada’s prosperity and stability depend on every Canadian having a fair chance to join the middle class. Yet, some Canadians struggle to do so while supporting families in part-time, temporary, and low-wage jobs—often working several jobs to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased focus on the essential work done by a large proportion of minimum wage-earning workers. To support low-wage workers in the federally regulated private sector:

Enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit was designed to reduce barriers to employment for low-income workers by providing them with a sizable tax refund—up to almost $1,400 for single individuals without children and $2,400 for families—delivered through the tax system. But currently, the threshold of eligibility leaves many of Canada’s low-wage workers out of the program; a person earning minimum wage and working full-time can still live in poverty but receive nothing from the Canada Workers Benefit.

In Canada, hard-working people with full-time, low-wage jobs should be able to make ends meet for themselves and their families. To support low-wage workers who have been most negatively affected by the pandemic and make our workforce stronger:

The government also recognizes that benefits targeted based on family income can deter secondary earners in couples from going back to work. More often than not, this impacts women. An inclusive recovery is a feminist recovery, and the Canadian economy cannot be competitive when everyone does not have the chance to succeed. To further boost workforce participation by reducing these barriers:

Budget 2021 proposes to allow secondary earners to exclude up to $14,000 of their working income when income-testing the Canada Workers Benefit.

Better Labour Protection for Gig Workers

As demand for gig work (short-term contracts with firms or individuals to complete specific and often one-off tasks) increases with the rise in new digital platforms, more and more Canadians rely on jobs that do not come with the same level of job protection as other employees in the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of these workers to income shocks when demand for their services suddenly drops. For this reason:

Enhancing Protections for Contract Workers in the Air Transportation Sector

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of protecting employees, particularly those who provide essential services to Canadians. Many employees in the air transportation sector have continued to work through the pandemic, deep cleaning aircraft, safely handling baggage, and performing the other critical services that have allowed necessary air travel to continue safely.

Many of the services provided by these employees are contracted out by airports and air carriers. When these contracts change hands, workers are at risk of earning less money for the same job.

Support for Personal Support Workers

The 2020 Fall Economic Statement announced that, to support personal support workers, homecare workers and essential workers involved in senior care, the government would work with labour and healthcare unions, among others, to seek solutions to improve retention, recruitment, and retirement savings options for low and modest-income workers, particularly those without existing workplace pension coverage. To follow through on this commitment:

Taking Action to Address Predatory Lending

Many lower and modest-income Canadians rely on high-interest short-term loans to make ends meet, such as paying for everyday living expenses, or for unanticipated emergencies. This leaves some Canadians living in a cycle of debt.

To read the Budget 2021 speech or to review the budget documents, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html

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