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The Freeland Budget: benefits for the renovation and construction sector

Last modified: 2021-06-11 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Amanda Harvey

If you’re paying attention to the Canadian news cycle, you may know about the 2021 Freeland Budget. This is the first budget from Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

The budget outlines billions of dollars aimed at getting the country to manage the rest of the pandemic. Now we're wondering, how does this affect the renovation and construction sector exactly?

This article offers a short breakdown of Canada’s Freeland budget and the benefits that it'll offer in terms of new pledges to expand affordable housing, fund home renovation projects, retrofits and so forth.

The Freeland Budget: benefits for the renovation and construction sector

canada landscape

Budget overview

As mentioned, the Federal Government has unveiled a brand new budget, $101.4 billion dollars directed towards supporting the country in a Covid-19 relief effort. The budget titled “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience” roughly breaks down to extend pandemic business and health support, $30 billion of that will go to a national childcare plan. Increasing the federal minimum wage is also on the horizon. Plus, there's $17.6 billion towards green investments in various sectors.

Freeland is moving forward with stimulus, a plan to spend around 4.2% of Canada’s GDP to deal with rebounding ourselves out of the current recession the country is facing. The budget is an attempt to “heal the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession and to permanently strengthen Canada’s economic muscle” Freeland said.  COVID-19 has exposed specifics discrepancies and gaps in the wages of women, low-wage workers, racialized people and young people. The Freeland budget is claiming to directly address these inequalities.

Now that we have a better idea about how the money is going to be allocated, let's take a look at how the budget impacts the renovation and construction sector.

toronto skyline

Benefits for renovations and construction

Freeland’s fiscal program will benefit those who work in the construction sector as well as homeowners taken on new renovations greatly. Not to mention, there is a large portion of the budget allocated to green recovery, which is good news for our home planet. 

As a result of COVID-19, federal support geared towards businesses and individuals is needed for the rest of the year.  Thus, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support have been extended to September 25th. The estimated total for this is $12.1 billion. 

Green recovery funding will range around $17.6 billion, which covers a wide range of expanded programs. Currently, Canada is on target to reduce emissions by 36 percent, hoping to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Further, the government has agreed to offer $4.4 billion to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This is meant to encourage homeowners to complete deep home retrofits through interest-free loans. These can be offered in payments up to $40,000. The loans would be available to landlords and homeowners who intend to complete retrofits as identified through an EnerGuide energy assessment. 

Another very exciting note is that the government has said they’re intending to build, repair and support 35,000 affordable housing units through a $2.5 billion dollars investment, as well as the reallocation of $1.3 billion. Also, acknowledging the work-from-home trend that's so prevalent as a result of our pandemic, the government is willing to relocate $300 million from the Rental Construction Financing Initiative to support the conversion of empty office spaces into housing. A thrilling prospect for those working in this sector with an interest in giving back to the communities that surround them.

canada landscape

Other Freeland Budget initiatives worth mentioning

There are other exciting benefits to the Freeland Budget that are on the periphery of the renovation and construction industry. For starters, the government has discussed the allocation of $1.4 billion to Infrastructure Canada to add to the Disaster and Mitigation Fund. This is important for areas impacted by wildfires, floods and includes the rehabilitation of stormwater systems.

Further, Indigenous infrastructural investments will take place, including $4.3 billion over the course of 4 years being put back into the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, as well as an additional $1.5 billion over the course of 5 years that’ll cover maintenance and operations costs for community infrastructure in First Nations communities and on reserves.

For more information, check out the entire breakdown of the deal itself, at the top of our article!

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