Federal Budget To Extend Pandemic Support, Create National Childcare System

The federal government presents its first full budget in two years on Monday (April 19) with billions of dollars for pandemic recovery measures and $2 billion to establish a national childcare system expected to be the centrepieces of the legislation.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's budget will also set aside $12 billion to extend wage and rent subsidy programs through this autumn. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is due to present the budget in Parliament after stock markets close at 4 p.m.

The budget is also expected to outline that the 2020-2021 federal deficit has come in under $400 billion. Last November, the government forecast a deficit of $381.6 billion, which would be its highest level since World War Two.

The budget will also include a luxury tax effective from 2022 on new cars and private aircraft valued at more than $100,000, and boats worth over $250,000. There will be a sales tax for online platforms and e-commerce warehouses starting this July, and a digital services tax for internet companies such as Google and Facebook starting in 2022.

Freeland promised in November up to $100 billion in stimulus over three years to "jump-start" an economic recovery during what is likely to be an election year, and the government has not backed away from that commitment.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccination campaign but still lags far behind other countries. In the U.S., half the adult population has now been vaccinated against COVID-19. In Canada, the current vaccination rate is about 2% of the adult population.