Policy Alert: Budget 2021 includes supports for the sector and equitable recovery

A new federal budget was delivered April 19, 2021 with good news for nonprofits, charities, and social enterprises in what Imagine Canada says "may be an unprecedented show of recognition for our sector." Some existing supports were extended and new targeted measures were promised. We've captured some highlights from Budget 2021:
  • $400M for a Community Services Recovery Fund (CSRF) to help charities and nonprofits recover from the effects of COVID-19. This is a win for the sector and, especially, for a collaborative of Canadian charities that led a focused advocacy campaign for a recovery fund. You can read their briefing note here
  • An investment of $30 billion over the next five years for early learning and child care and initiatives to improve affordability for families. Read more about this in statements from YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada.
  • There was no mention of 'a home in government' for the nonprofit sector which continues to be a sector priority.
  • Nor was there any mention of programs to incentivize donations to charities. Canada Cares, advocates for a 1:1 matching fund, has issued a statement in response to the budget.
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support as well as the creation of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
  • Commitment of $200M to a Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund and a new $100M investment in the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative that will help to address inequities in the sector.
  • Extension of the Investment Readiness program by another two years with a commitment of $50M. This program offers support for charities and nonprofits that seek to engage in social finance.
  • Creation of the $300M Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors.
  • $601.3M to be invested over 5 years in advancing the federal strategy to end gender-based violence.
  • $2.2 billion over 5 years and $160.9M ongoing to end the tragedy of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and accelerate the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • $172M over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $36.3M ongoing, to Statistics Canada to implement a Disaggregated Data Action Plan that will fill data and knowledge gaps. This funding will support more representative data collection, enhance statistics on diverse populations, and support the government’s, and society’s, efforts to address systemic racism, gender gaps—including the power gaps between men and women—and bring fairness and inclusion considerations into decision making. Find this and additional items in support of "A More Equal Canada" here.
  • A commitment of $31.5M over 2 years for the co-development of an action plan with Indigenous partners to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • $146M over 4 years to strengthen the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • Investment of $371.8M in new funding for Canada Summer Jobs to support approximately 75,000 new job placements in the summer of 2022.

The Pillar team is continuing to analyse the budget and curate analysis by others. If your organization has published a reaction or response to the budget, do let us know by emailing Paul Seale at pseale@pillarnonprofit.ca. For more anaylsis:

  • Find the full Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience on the Government of Canada site here
  • Find Imagine Canada's initial analysis, "Federal Budget Makes Strides for Nonprofits and Charities" here and a subsequent "Budget 2021 Summary for Charities & Nonprofits" here.
  • The Ontario Nonprofit Network has published analysis including key wins, subsector impacts, and analysis by other organizations here.
  • SVX highlights significant investments and opportunities for social finance, social enterprise, and social innovation in "Five Key Impact Headlines in the 2021 Canadian Federal Budget."
  • "Historic and Underwhelming: An Indigenous Analysis of Budget 2021" makes the case that the investment in Indigeous communities is significant but not sufficient.
  • For uncommonly joyful budget analysis, read this Twitter thread by Anjum Sultana, co-author of A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada.
  • Analysis by the Monitor shows that “Budget 2021 falls short on transformational climate action.”
  • Oxfam Canada has published "Budget 2021 delivers historic feminist investments domestically, but falls short on global response" here.
  • Velo Canada Bikes has published analysis here with attention to measures that affect active transportation policy.
  • Food Secure Canada has published its analysis in "What Does the Federal Budget Mean for the Food Movement?
  • Senator Terry M. Mercer and Senator Ratna Omidvar have offered some analysis of the budget in light of the special Senate committee on the Charitable Sector’s report and its many recommendations in Charting the future course of the charitable sector: “Is the Government Now a Catalyst for Change?
Article type: 
Blog entry
News Topic: 
Advocacy and Awareness
COVID-19 Response

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