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Budget 2021 for Public Safety & Security Sectors
Posted on Apr 26, 2021

ALLOCATIONS AND INITIATIVES FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY SECTORS

26 April 2021 – The Federal Budget was finally released on 19 April 2021 and received Parliamentary approval today. Buried within the 700+ pages of the Budget are details of intended actions and financial allocations for the future, including in the public safety and security sectors. This information provides further detail of what is intended going forward which is also referenced in the now published Departmental Plans and Main Estimates.

This Note provides relevant extracts from Budget 2021 which should be of interest to organizations and industry involved in the public safety and security sectors in Canada.

Chapter 1

A Plan for the Safe Reopening of Our Borders ($523M over 5 years)

The government has implemented stringent travel restrictions and strict public health measures at border crossings and airports to slow the spread of COVID-19. At this time, the government continues to strongly advise against all non-essential travel.

Ahead of any reopening of borders, the government is working to improve the safety and efficiency of our borders so that Canada is ready for a strong and safe recovery.

Supporting Safe Air Travel

Air travel has declined sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate the safe restart of air travel, when conditions allow, in a way that limits transmission of COVID-19 and protects travellers:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $82.5 million in 2021-22 to Transport Canada to support major Canadian airports in making investments in COVID-19 testing infrastructure.
     
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $105.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $28.7 million in remaining amortization and $10.2 million per year ongoing to Transport Canada to collaborate with international partners to further advance the Known Traveller Digital Identity pilot project, which will test advanced technologies to facilitate touchless and secure air travel.
     
  • To improve sanitization at screening checkpoints, the Budget proposes to provide $6.7 million in 2021-22 to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to acquire and operate sanitization equipment.

These measures would help restore Canadians’ confidence in the safety of air travel when public health restrictions and border measures are adjusted and would support the recovery of Canada’s hard-hit air and tourism sectors, which so many Canadians rely on for their jobs and livelihoods.

Chapter 4

Renewing National Trade Corridors

To support a robust and quick recovery, Canada needs to address capacity constraints, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies in our own transportation infrastructure. This will support businesses across our supply chains and boost the potential for small and medium-sized businesses in all regions, including rural and remote communities.

The National Trade Corridors Fund is well-positioned to spur private-sector investment in Canada’s transportation system. To reduce barriers to trade, help our businesses grow, create jobs, and ensure businesses are competitive in the recovery:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $1.9 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund. This funding could attract approximately $2.7 billion from private and other public sector partners, resulting in total investments of $4.6 billion.

This would spur investments in much-needed enhancements to our roads, rail, and shipping routes, build long-term resilience for the Canadian economy, and support internal trade. It would make Canada’s transportation system more fluid, supporting economic recovery and increasing prosperity across Canada. Alleviating bottlenecks and congestion will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Of this total funding, 15% would be dedicated to building and improving transportation networks in Canada’s North. Investments will bring growth and jobs to northern communities, and help more of our resources and goods get to markets in faster, cleaner, more cost efficient ways.

Modernizing Travel and Trade at Canada's Borders

The safe and timely flow of people and goods across our borders is integral to Canada’s economic recovery. In the years ahead, a modern border should facilitate seamless and safe travel and trade, while protecting Canada from public health and security threats.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $656.1 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $123.8 million ongoing, to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to modernize our borders. Funding will transform the border experience for travellers through touchless and automated interactions, enhance CBSA’s ability to detect contraband, and help protect the integrity of our border infrastructure.

Funding will also support three Canadian preclearance pilots in the United Sates that would enable customs and immigration inspections to be completed before goods and travellers enter Canada.

These initiatives will help preserve the security and integrity of Canada’s borders while expediting the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

Chapter 5

Historic Investments in Canada’s Natural Legacy

To address the biodiversity crisis, fight climate change, and protect and create jobs:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $2.3 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $100.5 million in remaining amortization, to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Parks Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to:
     
  • Conserve up to 1 million square kilometers more land and inland waters to achieve Canada’s 25% protected area by 2025 target, including through national wildlife areas, and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.
     
  • Create thousands of jobs in nature conservation and management.
     
  • Accelerate new provincial and territorial protected areas.
     
  • Support Indigenous Guardians.

Take action to prevent priority species at imminent risk of disappearing, including through partnerships with Indigenous peoples.

Taken together with funding provided for the Nature Legacy Initiative announced in Budget 2018, this represents the largest investment in nature conservation in Canada’s history

Conserving Canada’s Oceans

Canada’s coastline is the longest of any country in the world and the government is committed to protecting 25% of its marine and coastal areas by 2025, working towards 30% by 2030.

In addition to being home for whales, fish, and other marine life, oceans play a critical role in capturing carbon in the atmosphere.

Canada’s marine and coastal areas also support numerous jobs, livelihoods, and communities. The blue economy in Canada contributed $36.1 billion in gross domestic product in 2018 and accounts for close to 300,000 jobs.

  • To help meet conservation targets, protect against loss of marine habitat, and address the challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $976.8 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $80.0 million in remaining amortization, to help Canada reach its 25% by 2025 target to protect the health of our oceans, commercial fishing stocks, and Canadians’ quality of life, especially in coastal communities.

Support for the Polar Continental Shelf Program

For over 50 years, the Polar Continental Shelf Program has enabled research across Canada’s Arctic. Scientific interest in this important ecosystem has increased in recent years, as has the cost of basic supplies and logistical infrastructure.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $25.4 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, with $5.7 million in remaining amortization, to Natural Resources Canada to support pan-Arctic scientific research through the Polar Continental Shelf Program. These activities would also enhance employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people and northerners.

Chapter 6

National Infrastructure Assessment

Twenty-first century energy systems, public buildings, broadband networks, roadways, public transit, and natural spaces all contribute to our long-term economic productivity and prosperity. But smart, resilient public infrastructure projects also require careful planning.

  • To support Canada’s long-term infrastructure planning, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $22.6 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to Infrastructure Canada to conduct Canada’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment. The assessment would help identify needs and priorities for Canada’s built environment.

This measure would improve infrastructure planning and help all orders of government make informed decisions about infrastructure projects that ensure we have stronger, cleaner, more resilient communities

Creating a New Regional Development Agency for BC

In recognition of the unique economic realities in British Columbia and across Western Canada, the government committed, in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, to create a new regional economic development agency for British Columbia with new dedicated funding. This will help businesses and communities in British Columbia continue to grow and create good jobs across the province. It will also ensure Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have a dedicated regional development agency that keeps the same level of funding to serve their distinct regional needs, with resources to dedicate to local populations and businesses.

  • To increase the impact of regional development agencies in Western Canada, Budget 2021 proposes to create a new agency for British Columbia and to provide $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing, to support the new agency and ensure businesses in B.C. can grow and create good jobs for British Columbians. Existing core program funding from Western Economic Diversification will remain to support the Prairies, making additional support available for businesses in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

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.

Protecting Canada’s Historic Places

From coast to coast to coast, Canada is home to a rich portfolio of historic places across the country. Canadians expect their governments to protect Canada’s historic places so that they can be enjoyed and preserved for future generations. But currently, there is no legal obligation to protect the heritage value of many of the over 300 federally-owned historic places in Canada.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $28.7 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $5.8 million ongoing, for the Parks Canada Agency to implement new legislation that, if enacted, would provide for a transparent designation framework as well as the sustainable protection of the over 300 federally-owned historic places.

Improving Food Security

At the height of lockdowns last spring, one in seven Canadians experienced food insecurity. Food Banks Canada reported a significant increase in use of food banks, especially among first-time users. The federal government responded quickly, investing nearly $250 million to support local hunger relief initiatives.

Although things have improved, food bank lineups are still long, community food organizations are working long hours, and more than a third of those who rely on food banks are children. In Canada, no one should need to go hungry.

  • To provide continued support to emergency hunger relief organizations, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $140 million in 2021-22 to top up the Emergency Food Security Fund and Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which would prevent hunger, strengthen food security in our communities, and provide nutritious food to more Canadians.

National Infrastructure Assessment

Twenty-first century energy systems, public buildings, broadband networks, roadways, public transit, and natural spaces all contribute to our long-term economic productivity and prosperity. But smart, resilient public infrastructure projects also require careful planning.

  • To support Canada’s long-term infrastructure planning, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $22.6 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to Infrastructure Canada to conduct Canada’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment. The assessment would help identify needs and priorities for Canada’s built environment.

This measure would improve infrastructure planning and help all orders of government make informed decisions about infrastructure projects that ensure we have stronger, cleaner, more resilient communities.

Streamlining Express Entry

Canada’s Express Entry system has been in place since 2015. It has a track record of bringing in highly skilled immigrants who succeed in Canada’s economy and society.

These newcomers fill needs in our economy that are critical for our growth and create shared prosperity for all. Streamlining Canada’s Express Entry system will allow the government to ensure our immigration system responds to Canada’s growing economic and labour force needs and help Canada reach its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.

The Government of Canada intends to propose amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada with authority to use Ministerial Instructions to help select those candidates who best meet Canada’s labour market needs from among the growing pool of candidates who wish to become permanent residents through the Express Entry System.

Chapter 7

Strengthening the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Helping Communities Respond to an Increase in Racism

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $2 million in 2021-22 to Public Safety Canada to enhance its Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program. This program helps protect communities at risk of hate-motivated crimes, by providing not-for-profit organizations such as places of worship, schools, and community cultural centres with funding to enhance their security infrastructure.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis and Problematic Substance Use

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $116 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, building on $66 million invested in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, for the Substance Use and Addictions Program to support a range of innovative approaches to harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level.

Taxation of Tobacco

Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of premature death in Canada. Tobacco taxation is an effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and help reach the government’s goal of less than 5 per cent of the population using tobacco by 2035.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to increase the tobacco excise duty by $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases to the excise duty rates for other tobacco products. This measure would take effect the day after Budget Day. It is estimated that this measure will increase federal revenues by $2.1 billion over five years starting in 2021-22.

Chapter 8

Strong Indigenous Communities

Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $1.2 billion in 2021-22 to continue supporting the COVID-19 response in Indigenous communities as follows:

  • $478.1 million on a cash basis to continue to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities, including support to hire nurses, help at-risk people to isolate, and distribute personal protective equipment.
     
  • An additional $760.8 million for the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help First Nations, Inuit, Métis Nation communities, and urban and offreserve Indigenous organizations serving Indigenous peoples meet the unique needs of their populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will provide funding to: prevent the spread of COVID-19; support elders and vulnerable community members; provide mental health assistance and emergency response services; address food insecurity; and support children.

Indigenous Infrastructure

Budget 2021 proposes distinctions-based investments of $6.0 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities, including:

  • $4.3 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, a distinctions-based fund to support immediate demands, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, with shovelready infrastructure projects in First Nations, including with moderntreaty and self-governing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
     
  • $1.7 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to cover the operations and maintenance costs of community infrastructure in First Nations communities on reserve.

Responding to the Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest an additional $2.2 billion over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $160.9 million ongoing, to help build a safer, stronger, and more inclusive society.

Human Security and Safety

Indigenous communities, like all communities in Canada, should be places where people and families feel safe and secure. A well-funded, culturally sensitive, and respectful police service is essential for community safety and well-being.

Budget 2021 proposes to provide $861 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $145 million ongoing, to support culturally responsive policing and community safety services in Indigenous communities. This includes:

  • $43.7 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service.
     
  • $540.3 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $126.8 million ongoing, to support Indigenous communities currently served under the First Nations Policing Program and expand the program to new Indigenous communities.
     
  • $108.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to repair, renovate, and replace policing facilities in First Nation and Inuit communities.
     
  • $64.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $18.1 million ongoing, to enhance Indigenous-led crime prevention strategies and community safety services.

Chapter 9

Advancing a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

Since March 2020, the federal government has announced up to $100 million for organizations providing emergency support and services to survivors of gender-based violence.

The government – in consultation with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, gender-based violence experts, stakeholders and, most importantly, survivors of gender-based violence – is moving forward on developing a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, focusing on ensuring that anyone facing gender-based violence has reliable and timely access to protection and services, no matter where they live.

Budget 2021 proposes to invest $601.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to advance towards a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, as outlined below:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to support gender-based violence organizations.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $105 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to enhance its Gender-Based Violence Program. Funding will go to initiatives that engage men and boys. It will increase funding for initiatives to stop human trafficking, including support for at-risk populations and survivors. It will also provide support for testing and implementing best practices to address gender-based violence, with a focus on projects that could be scaled at the national level.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $14 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $55 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. These investments are in addition to those outlined in Chapter 8 to address the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $50 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Public Health Agency of Canada to design and deliver interventions that promote safe relationships and prevent family violence, including intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $30 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality so that crisis hotlines can serve the urgent needs of more Canadians and offer more robust services, resources, and supports to prevent the escalation of gender-based violence.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $85.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Justice Canada. Funding will support a national program for independent legal advice and independent legal representation for victims of sexual assault, as well as to support pilot projects for victims of intimate partner violence.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $28.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Justice Canada. This will protect the safety and well-being of children and families.
     
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $2 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to increase access to information and support for new Canadians facing family and gender-based violence, including enhancing the availability of anti-violence resources. This will help ensure that newcomers’ lives in Canada get off to a safe and successful start.

Preventing Radicalization to Violence

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $8.2 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence to increase support and research for frontline initiatives and programming that prevent and counter radicalization to violence, including violent misogyny. This work will support the forthcoming National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

Diverting Youth Away from the Justice System

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $216.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $43.3 million ongoing for the Youth Justice Services Funding Program to increase funding to the provinces and territories in support of diversion programming and to help reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians, and other racialized groups in the youth justice system. By diverting youth to the right services at the right time and addressing the root causes of crime, this measure would help reduce the crime rate and promote better outcomes for young people and their communities.

Expanding Access to Drug Treatment Courts

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $40.4 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $10 million ongoing, to support up to 25 additional drug treatment courts. This funding will provide eligible participants with access to a comprehensive program that includes substance use treatment and social services support.

Enhancing Legal Support for Vulnerable Communities

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $21.5 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for a Racialized Communities Legal Support Initiative. This would support organizations that provide free public legal education and information as well as organizations that provide legal services and advice to racialized communities.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide an additional $26.8 million, in 2021-22, to enable participating provinces to maintain immigration and refugee legal aid support for asylum seekers, while protecting the efficiency and integrity of the asylum system.

Gun Control

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $312 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $41.4 million ongoing, to implement legislation to help protect Canadians from gun violence and to fight gun smuggling and trafficking. Funding will support the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, and Public Safety Canada, and builds on investments made in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. These measures will fight gun crime in our communities and keep Canadians safe.

Response to the Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $80.3 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Global Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to respond to the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis. This investment would enable Canada to help reduce human suffering, irregular migration, and security threats in the region, while improving the integration of migrants and refugees into host communities

Supporting NORAD Modernization

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $163.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $111.1 million in remaining amortization, to support NORAD modernization. This investment would lay the groundwork for NORAD’s future, including through research and development of cutting-edge technologies that can detect and defend against threats to the continent.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $88.8 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $48.7 million in remaining amortization and $0.6 million per year ongoing, to sustain existing continental and Arctic defence capability.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide up to $305.9 million over five years, starting in 2020-21, to the Department of National Defence to cover higher Canadian contributions to NATO’s common budget and military activities.

Better Equipping Canada's Coast Guard and Military

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $70.8 million over 10 years, starting in 2021-22, to ensure the timely delivery of defence and marine procurement projects.

Chapter 10

Action Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Money laundering and terrorist financing are a threat to the security of the financial system. An effective regime to combat these threats is essential to protecting Canadians and the integrity of the financial sector.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $4.6 million over four years, starting in 2022-23, and $0.6 million per year ongoing, to enable the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to build its expertise related to virtual currency; supervise the armoured car sector; and develop and administer a cost recovery scheme for its compliance activities.

The Canada Revenue Agency plays an important role in the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering in Canada. In support of this role, amendments to the Income Tax Act are needed to address legislative gaps and streamline the revocation process to prevent abuse of charitable status.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to amend the Income Tax Act to allow for the immediate revocation of charitable status for organizations listed as a terrorist entity.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to prevent individuals with a known history of supporting terrorism from becoming a director, trustee, or similar official of a registered charity.
  • Budget 2021 further proposes to allow for the revocation of charitable status when a charity provides false statements for the purpose of maintaining their registration.

Improving and Defending Our Cyber Networks

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $456.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $60.7 million in remaining amortization and $62.2 million ongoing, to Shared Services Canada and the Communications Security Establishment

Modernizing Critical IT Infrastructure

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide a total of $648 million on a cash basis to Employment and Social Development Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat over the next seven years, starting in 2021-22, to continue implementing Benefit Delivery Modernization, invest in Service Canada’s IT systems and related activities, and support service delivery to Canadians going forward.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $300 million on a cash basis to Shared Services Canada over the next three years, starting in 2021-22, to continue work to repair and replace critical IT infrastructure.

 

(View Budget 2021 Federal Plans and Main Estimates here)

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FrontLine Advisor Scott Newark is a former Alberta Crown Prosecutor who has also served as Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association, Vice Chair of the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime, Director of Operations for Investigative Project on Terrorism and as a Security Policy Advisor to the governments of Ontario and Canada. 

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