Sean Casey
Sean Casey
Member of Parliament for Charlottetown
Highlights from Budget 2021 for Prince Edward Island
April 20, 2021

Highlights from Budget 2021 for Prince Edward Island


Measures from Budget 2021 That Will Support Prince Edward Island:

Canada Community Revitalization Fund

Main streets, farmers' markets, and other gathering places underpin local economies. In many communities, the most vibrant spaces in our communities have laid dormant as Canadians took precautions to stay safe. Recognizing that economic recovery is tightly linked to the vitality of our local communities: Budget 2021 proposes to provide $500 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to the regional development agencies for community infrastructure. These projects will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.


Natural Infrastructure Fund

Local parks, green spaces, and waterfronts are our natural infrastructure. Natural infrastructure is the natural spaces and wildlife crossings that support conservation and biodiversity, and provides the wetlands and marshes that help prevent flash floods. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $200 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Infrastructure Canada to establish a Natural Infrastructure Fund to support natural and hybrid infrastructure projects. This would help to improve well-being, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and prevent costly natural events.


Increasing Old Age Security for Canadians 75 and Over

After a lifetime of hard work, they deserve a secure and dignified retirement. That is why the government is committed to increasing Old Age Security (OAS) benefits for seniors age 75 and older. The government plans to implement this commitment in two steps.


Revitalizing Tourism

The impact of COVID-19 on workers and businesses in tourism, arts, and culture has been severe. With the rollout of vaccines underway, businesses in the tourism, arts, and culture sectors are getting ready to welcome Canadians back to experience the great places and activities this country has to offer—when it is safe to do so. Canadians are also eager to return to the local festivals and places they know and love.

To assist the sectors’ recovery, the government proposes to make available a further package of supports, totalling $1 billion over three years, starting in 2021-22.

Major Festivals

Canada’s major festivals not only showcase the best of Canadian culture and talent—they also create thousands of jobs for vendors, technicians, production crews, and more. To support Canada’s world-class arts and cultural festivals that have drawn millions of visitors from all over the world to Canada: Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals. This would ensure they can continue to celebrate our artistic excellence and unique character.


Community Festivals and Events

To support Canada’s many local festivals, celebrations, and amateur sport events that draw visitors to our communities: Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.


Helping Visitors Discover Canada

To ensure that Canada is a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe: Budget 2021 proposes to provide $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.


Support for Local Tourism Businesses

Recognizing the impact COVID-19 has had on tourism businesses and that even as economies open, business and international travel will take time to recover: Budget 2021 proposes to establish a $500 million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies. The Fund will support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting their products and services to public health measures and other investments that will help them recover from the pandemic and position themselves for future growth. These measures would be complemented by other Budget 2021 announcements, such as measures to support safe air travel, and the expansion of the Canada Small Business Financing Program.


Extending Temporary Support for Seasonal Workers Who Continue to be Affected by the Pandemic

Self-employed fishers and seasonal workers have shown incredible resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal income support has been a lifeline to approximately 20,000 fishers and thousands of seasonal workers since September, especially in Atlantic Canada. With restrictions ongoing and recovery only just underway, these Canadians continue to need support. To better support fishers and seasonal workers and ensure they do not lose access to needed financial support:

Budget 2021 proposes legislative changes to ensure that all self-employed fishers who submit an Employment Insurance (EI) claim for the winter 2021 fishing benefit period are treated equally, by extending temporary eligibility changes for the entire benefit period. Budget 2021 also proposes legislative changes and funding of $99.9 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to extend the rules of an existing EI seasonal pilot project for an additional year, until October 2022. The measure would provide up to 5 additional weeks of EI regular benefits to seasonal claimants in 13 regions of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Yukon.


Investing in Small Craft Harbours

From coast to coast to coast, Fisheries and Oceans Canada owns, operates, and maintains a national system of harbours to provide commercial fish harvesters and other small craft harbour users with safe and accessible facilities. Ninety per cent of Canadian seafood goes through small craft harbours and Canada’s fish harvesters depend on these facilities to support their livelihoods.  Many harbours are in need of repair or replacement, and this work can support good middle class jobs in rural and coastal communities. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $300 million, on a cash basis, over the next two years, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to repair, renew, and replace small craft harbours. This would support Canadians in the fishing, aquaculture, tourism, environmental, recreational, marine engineering, and construction industries, and strengthen the resilience of rural and coastal communities.


Agricultural Climate Solutions

Farmers are major players in Canada’s fight against climate change. The agricultural sector has the potential to scale up climate solutions, many of which are already underway across the country. Building on Canada’s climate action programs for farmers—including the $185 million Agricultural Climate Solutions program, and the $165 million Agricultural Clean Technology Program—Budget 2021 proposes to:  


2020-21 Major Federal Transfers to the Province

o $12.5 million support with the costs of increasing testing capacity, perform contact tracing, and share public health data that will help fight the pandemic;

o $5.0 million to support health care system capacity to respond to surges in COVID-19 cases and to support and protect people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness;

o $3.1 million to address immediate needs and gaps in supportive care and provide health and social supports for other vulnerable groups;

o $8.4 million to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs

o $12.5 million to ensure health and non-health workers have access to the personal protective equipment that they need;

o $4.5 million to address the reduced availability of child care spaces and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic; and

o $6.4 million in additional supplementary support.

o This funding will help get shots into arms as quickly as possible. Provinces and territories, with the support of municipalities, will be able to use this funding for a variety of vaccine-related costs, such as to recruit and train immunizers, establish mass vaccination clinics, set up mobile vaccination units, engage Indigenous communities to advance vaccine rollout, and reach vulnerable populations through community-based vaccination efforts.


For 2021-22 Major Federal Transfers, see:

Pillars of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan by the Numbers



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