Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to budget 2021, which was presented to the House on Monday by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. I will be sharing my time this afternoon with my friend, the hon. member for Kings—Hants.
Budget 2021 addresses two fundamental challenges and includes measures that will benefit my constituents in Pontiac, middle-class Canadians, as well as science, research and innovation in Canada.
The first challenge is definitely to finish the fight against COVID-19. That means buying vaccines and supporting provincial health care systems, among other critical health priorities.
The second challenge will take longer. It is to emerge from the COVID-19 recession. That means healing the economic wounds left by the pandemic and ensuring that lost jobs are recovered as swiftly as possible, so that the hardest-hit businesses can rebound and flourish. It means providing support where COVID-19 has struck hardest, to women, young people and low-wage workers, and to small and medium-sized businesses, especially in sectors like hospitality and tourism.
Our federal support measures, which represent $8 out of every $10 spent by all governments combined on COVID, have protected jobs and helped limit the number of permanent business closures. We will continue to honour this covenant with Canadians until COVID-19 is fully behind us with new measures to support Canadian businesses, workers and families. For example, through budget 2020-21, we will extend both the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy and they will be extended until September 25, 2021, with the possibility of a further extension to November, depending on the economic and public health situation.
We are also introducing the Canada recovery hiring program. This $595-million investment will help businesses pivot to recovery, with incentives to hire back, grow hours or increase wages. We announced a historic $4-billion investment into a digital adoption program to help Canadian small businesses become more competitive, go digital, take advantage of e-commerce and become more competitive in Canada and around the world.
Finally, we are committed to lowering credit card fees by engaging with stakeholders to lower the average overall cost of interchange fees for our small businesses.
We have to revitalize tourism. The impact of COVID-19 on workers and businesses in tourism, arts and culture has been severe. That is especially true in the Outaouais region, where many rural communities depend on tourism and vacationers, especially in the summer.
I am thinking about the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, Pontiac and Collines-de-l'Outaouais RCMs. I am thinking about businesses such as Le Rabaska in Maniwaki, L'Orée du Bois in Chelsea, the Spruceholme Inn in Fort-Coulonge and the Laspézia restaurant in the Plateau sector of Gatineau.
With the rollout of vaccines under way and going quite well in Quebec, businesses in the tourism sector are getting ready to welcome Canadians back to experience the great places and activities that we have to offer. Canadians are eager to discover or rediscover their country. This is a great opportunity for the Outaouais.
We have to ensure that regions like ours succeed in this context of local, regional and national tourism. That is why, to support this sector, the government is proposing a new package of supports totalling $1 billion over three years thanks to budget 2021. That amount includes $500 million in funding over two years for regional development agencies, to help our hard-hit tourism businesses adapt their products and services and invest in growth.
To attract visitors to our small festivals and local events, Canadian Heritage will also receive $200 million. This will ensure that our events and festivals can continue to celebrate our artistic excellence and unique character. We will be ready for the tourism economy's recovery.
On the issue of science, it has been a privilege to serve Canadians as the parliamentary secretary for science throughout this pandemic. I am so pleased to point out that budget 2021 delivers massive investments in Canadian science, health innovation, research and development, and innovation. We recognize the critical role that science and research will play, both in addressing the current health crisis and in rebuilding our economy and creating good jobs for Canadians. We are investing heavily to grow our life sciences ecosystem and create the biomanufacturing capacity necessary to ensure that we are more resilient in the face of future pandemics.
This includes over $1 billion for biomedical research, clinical trials and the necessary infrastructure at universities and research hospitals to undertake this work. This includes a nearly $60-million investment in the University of Saskatchewan's VIDO-InterVac to support its ongoing COVID vaccine research and expand its facility in Saskatoon.
We are also making targeted investments in critically important health care research, including areas such as women's health, diabetes, pediatric cancer, regenerative medicine, antimicrobial resistance, and in the creation of a national genomics strategy worth $400 million to build on Canada's expertise.
If members and the Canadians listening to these incredible investments proposed in budget 2021 in science, health innovation and research are dizzied by the sheer size and scale of these investments, then I would not blame them. We are going to be unrelenting in our focus on science and evidence as the driver of policy decisions and strategic investments. I was pleased to note yesterday that the non-profit advocacy group, Evidence for Democracy Canada, commented that in budget 2021, “science underpins targeted investments to drive equitable recovery and long-term prosperity”, and that Evidence for Democracy was “pleased to see strategic investments across the Canadian science ecosystem, including targeted research funding”.
There is so much more, and I know members will appreciate our focus on protecting Canadians as we invest in innovative research and development. Budget 2021 promises strategic investments in emerging technologies to capitalize on areas of Canadian strength.
This includes $360 million over seven years to launch a national quantum strategy, working with great Canadian universities like Université de Sherbrooke, UBC, University of Waterloo and others.
There is $444 million over 10 years to support the next phase of the pan-Canadian artificial intelligence strategy for commercialization, talent retention, research and training, computing capacity and artificial intelligence standards.
It promises $10 million over two years to the Canadian Space Agency to plan for the next generation of earth observation satellites and $80 million over 11 years to replace and expand the aging but critically important ground-based infrastructure to receive satellite data.
There is $90 million over five years to the National Research Council to retool and modernize the Canadian photonics fabrication centre in Ottawa.
This budget builds on the historic investments in fundamental research from budget 2018 and our government's innovation and skills strategy. It sets us up for growth and success, both today and for the future. It focuses on the pandemic today, but also addresses looming threats that require better science, better data and better governance.
My time is running short, so I will not dive deep into our climate innovation, climate research, climate action and low-carbon job-creation investments. We are talking billions of dollars in transformative investments to get us to the net-zero economy, which dovetail wonderfully with our carbon-pricing mechanism that the Supreme Court has, after so many unnecessary years of Conservative knuckle dragging and climate denial, confirmed as being within federal jurisdiction. Yes, we will be establishing and applying a climate lens that ensures climate considerations are integrated throughout federal government decision-making. We are talking about Arctic research and a census of the environment statistical trend-monitoring effort.
I will not delve into our investments in gender-based violence research and knowledge mobilization, with funding for community research—