April 20, 2021
Impact of 2021 Federal Budget on landscape sector
Chrystia Freeland
Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister
The federal government announced its first budget in over two years on April 19, 2021. Here are some key items for business owners and landscape horticulture professionals:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended to Sept. 25, 2021, with the rate being paid out decreasing gradually starting July 4. The benefit was introduced to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and will eventually be replaced with the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program. The proposal would see this new program run from June to November to encourage companies and organizations to hire new or previously laid-off workers as the economy recovers. The initiative is designed to offset some of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support set to expire in June will continue until Sept. 25. As vaccinations ramp up and the economy rebounds, support under this program will gradually decrease.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The application deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021 for hard-hit small business and not-for-profits to apply for a loan between $20,000 and $60,000 under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Details online.

Employment Insurance sickness benefits

The budget also proposes to ensure Employment Insurance (EI) remains easily accessible and to increase sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks starting in the summer of 2022. The proposal includes amendments to the Employment Insurance Act and Canadian Labour Code to better protect the jobs of those who access sickness benefits under EI.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals directly affected by Covid-19 who are not eligible for EI benefits will see the application period increased another 12 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks. The amount paid for the first four weeks would be $500 per week, then $300 for the remaining eight weeks. See who can apply.


Among various funding announcements, the budget includes a $1.4 billion top-up for the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund which has historically provided support to large-scale infrastructure projects, but will now now have a lower threshold in order to support smaller projects. Read more about the fund.

The 2021 budget proposes $17.6 billion in funding to the Natural Infrastructure Fund which aims to combat climate change. Funding will be available for green stimulus measures that can generate income and create jobs aimed at creating a cleaner and safer future. More details.