Late yesterday, the federal government announced Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, investing in Canada’s municipalities and their residents and businesses.  With the pandemic’s third wave top of mind, the federal government announced the extension of programs like the Canada Emergency Rent & Wage Subsidies into fall 2021. These federal program extensions are welcome news, and align with Monday’s Kitchener Council approval of the Make It Kitchener 2.0 pandemic economic support and recovery plan.

“Overall, this was the kind of budget Canadians needed as we look to come out of the pandemic,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “I was looking for this budget to invest in people, the green economy and affordable housing, and it certainly does that. It is a budget focused on residents and families – from our youngest to our oldest. Continuing COVID-19 programs into this fall will provide the support and stability people and businesses need going forward. Although the federal and provincial/territorial governments are the primary funding sources for economic support and recovery, the City of Kitchener is doing its part to support local businesses by making up to $5 million available in grants and other initiatives.  These supports will focus on businesses and sectors that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, such as tourism, hospitality, arts and culture, among others.”

The federal government included over $100 billion in new stimulus funding over the next 3 years, which includes some areas that will benefit municipalities including:

“Kitchener stands ready to partner with Ottawa with these additional investments to boost for our economy, improve the environment, and most importantly to help build supportive and affordable housing,” added Mayor Vrbanovic.  “I am pleased to see today’s significant housing investment as another down-payment towards achieving the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) objective of $7 billion towards the federal government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness. These investments in municipalities continue the partnership with federal and provincial governments, which is needed now and for the foreseeable future to support residents and businesses as we get through the pandemic.”

The proposed federal budget also announced $30 billion over the next 5 years for the introduction of a new national childcare program, critically important as we look to grow the workforce in Kitchener and Waterloo region.

“This pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, and racialized and other vulnerable and diverse members of our community,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “A national childcare program is not only about taking care of kids during normal work hours, but it also allows equity for all parents in general for greater labour force participation.  The creation of a national childcare strategy will be transformational as we support women and families in the post-pandemic workforce, and as we build back better and grow the economy.”

For more information please contact:

Paul Grivicic, Chief of Staff
City of Kitchener

Shawn Falcao, Manager of Corporate Communications
City of Kitchener