It would seem the Trudeau government has taken Sir Winston Churchill’s advice to heart. More than a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 budget has the potential to fundamentally change the role of the federal government and transform its relationship with Canadians.
Assuming all the initiatives announced today are implemented, this budget will multiply Ottawa’s touch points with citizens: unprecedented federal engagement in social policy via early childhood education and long-term care; direct support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and a comprehensive policy response to the unequal impact of the pandemic on women, Indigenous peoples, Black and racialized Canadians.
Reconciling this budget with the federal fact of Canada will be a tremendous challenge. More than the reactions of opposition parties, it is the negotiations with the provinces that will determine the ambition of the measures announced today and, ultimately, the success of the government’s long-term intention to build back better.
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You can also download our budget analysis here.