Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the debate on Bill C-30, budget implementation act, 2021, no. 1. The budget reflects the unprecedented times we are living in.
My constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges, all Canadians and billions of people around the world have had their lives turned upside down for more than a year by COVID-19. Many people have lost loved ones. Schools, day cares and businesses have had to close. Families have been affected by temporary and long-term layoffs.
The magnitude of this situation cannot be underestimated. This is the worst health and economic crisis that Canada and all of humanity have experienced in generations. Our Liberal government had to present a budget that reflected this reality, and budget 2021 does just that.
This is an important budget focused on three key goals: finishing the fight against COVID-19 and continuing to support families and businesses during the pandemic; investing in the economic recovery and in economic growth in the short and long terms; and, lastly, looking ahead by investing in building a cleaner, safer, stronger and more prosperous Canada for our children and grandchildren.
With respect to our investments to finish the fight against COVID-19, I will start by speaking about investments in vaccines, more specifically our domestic vaccine production capacity in the future.
COVID-19 highlighted the importance of rebuilding Canada's vaccine production capacity, which was lost over the past 40 years. Budget 2021 provides a total of $2.2 billion over seven years to re-establish a vibrant domestic life sciences sector. This amount includes a previously announced investment of $170 million for the expansion of a vaccine production facility in Montreal. These and upcoming investments will equip Canada to produce COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines that Canadians may need to combat future biological threats.
As we continue to navigate through the highs and lows of this pandemic, many sectors of our economy are still closed or operating at reduced capacity due to provincial health measures. As a result, many of my constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges are either out of work or are facing a reduction in income.
To ensure that they continue to put food on the table and support themselves and their families, budget 2021 extends the COVID-19 economic response support measures for individuals by another 12 weeks to September 2021. This includes the Canada recovery benefit, which will reduce gradually over time; the Canada recovery caregiving benefit; the Canada recovery sickness benefit; and it allows for more flexible access to EI benefits for another year, into the fall of 2022. This ensures that those in my riding of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, who are still heavily impacted by this pandemic, including our artists, restaurant owners, tourism operators, those working in the aviation sector and many more, will have the support they need to see it through.
We have also extended benefits for small business owners. Budget 2021 ensures that the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which has helped more than 5.3 million Canadians, will be extended until September 25, 2021.
The Canada emergency rent subsidy, which has already helped more than 154,000 organizations, will be extended from June to September 25, 2021.
Canada emergency business account loans, which have helped more than 850,000 Canadian small businesses, are still repayable by December 31, 2022, but the application deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021.
To help businesses reopen, budget 2021 includes several new programs, such as the Canada recovery hiring program, which offsets a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen.
The objective is to help employers that continue to experience declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The program will be available for employees from June 6 to November 20, 2021.
Budget 2021 also includes an expansion of a worker support program that I know will have positive impacts on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians in the years ahead who may find themselves diagnosed with an illness that will require them to take time off work, and that is the extension of employment insurance sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks. During my personal battle with cancer, I know how important it is during and after chemotherapy to focus on one's well-being, on one's mental health and on healing.
Budget 2021 proposes funding of $3 billion over five years to deliver on our promise in 2019 to extend these benefits by almost three months. This extension would provide approximately 169,000 Canadians every year with additional time and flexibility to recover and return to work.
The extension of the support programs for families, workers and business owners to September 2021 is vital to the health and safety of many families and businesses in Vaudreuil—Soulanges.
We promised all Canadians that we would be there for them during the pandemic, and that is what we are doing with budget 2021.
We also promised seniors that we would be there to help them. Since 2016, our government has worked hard to do just that. We have already increased support for 900,000 of the most vulnerable seniors across Canada, made historic investments in affordable housing, and invested billions of dollars in mental health care.
In budget 2021, we are continuing on that track by offering a one-time payment of $500 for seniors aged 75 and over in August 2021, as well as a 10% increase in old age security payments starting in July 2022 for seniors aged 75 and over.
We also invested over $3 billion to improve long-term care and $3.8 billion to build an additional 35,000 affordable housing units for Canadian seniors.
For young Canadians who are anxious about their future job prospects in the coming months and years, budget 2021 provides the support they need to build skills, get on-the-job training and start their careers. This includes $721 million to connect Canadian youth with employers that will provide them with over 100,000 new quality job opportunities and a historic $4 billion in a digital adoption program to help 160,000 businesses make the shift to e-commerce, which will create 28,000 new jobs for young Canadians.
It provides $708 million over five years to ensure that we have 85,000 work-integrated learning placements and $470 million to establish a new apprentice service that would help over 55,000 first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades.
Finally, it provides an additional $371 million in new funding for the Canada summer jobs program in 2022 and 2023 to support approximately 75,000 new placements in the summer of 2022 alone.
Further, to respond to the mental health impacts of this pandemic, as part of an overall investment of $1 billion in the mental health of Canadians, budget 2021 proposes to provide $100 million over three years to support innovative mental health programs for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, indigenous Canadians and racialized Black Canadians.
Finally, budget 2021 includes unprecedented investments in the protection and preservation of nature and action against climate change. To enable Canada to reach the ambitious goal of protecting 25% of our nature by 2025, budget 2021 invests $4 billion for small and large-scale conservation projects and $3.16 billion to plant two billion trees across Canada by 2030. To help Canada not only meet but exceed our Paris agreement targets, budget 2021 invests $8 billion in the net-zero accelerator supporting green technology and renewable energy and creating well-paying jobs in the process.
It also invests $1.5 billion to purchase 5,000 electric public transit and school buses, helping to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, provide cleaner air and reduce noise pollution in our communities. In addition, to help communities like mine in Vaudreuil—Soulanges that have already begun to experience the impacts of climate change with two record floods in just the last four years, budget 2021 will strengthen climate resiliency by allocating $640 million to the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund for small-scale projects between $1 million and $20 million in eligible infrastructure costs. For communities like mine, with smaller municipalities, this change is going to make all the difference.
With that, I strongly encourage every member of the House to support the measures proposed in budget 2021 and in Bill C-30. These measures will allow us to—