On April 19, 2021, the federal government released its first budget in almost two years. The 2021 budget, entitled “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience,” proposes more than $100 billion in new spending over the next three years and shows a deficit of $354B for 2020-21.
It has a number of provisions that may affect Christian charities. As we consider some of the spending plans, we should keep in mind that the budget bill has to pass before it can be implemented.
Looking at the 700+ page document, here are some highlights you should be aware of.
Budget 2021 proposes:
- To launch planned disbursements of the $755 million Social Finance Fund and deploy up to $220 million over its first two years to ensure our most vulnerable can access much-needed services, and help our communities recover more quickly It is estimated that the Social Finance Fund could attract up to $1.5 billion in private sector capital to support the development of the social finance market, create thousands of new jobs, and drive positive social change.
- To renew the Investment Readiness Program for $50 million over two years, starting in 2021–22. This program supports charities, non-profits, and social purpose organizations in capacity-building activities such as business plan development, expanding products and services, skills development, and hiring.
- To provide $400 million in 2021–22 to Employment and Social Development Canada to create a temporary Community Services Recovery Fund to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize so they can better support the economic recovery in our communities.
- To launch public consultations with charities over the coming months on potentially increasing the disbursement quota and updating the tools at the Canada Revenue Agency’s disposal, beginning in 2022. This could potentially increase support for the charitable sector and those that rely on its services by between $1 billion and $2 billion annually.
- To explore the potential for social bonds to complement the government’s existing debt program. The government intends to include this topic as part of the Debt Management Strategy consultations this fall.
- 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.
- To provide $200 million in 2021–22 to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. This fund would be led by Black Canadians and would create a sustainable source of funding, including for Black youth and sociapurpose organizations, and help combat anti-Black racism and improve social and economic outcomes in Black communities.
- To provide $100 million in 2021–22 to the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative at Employment and Social Development Canada
- To amend the Income Tax Act to allow for the immediate revocation of charitable status for organizations listed as a terrorist entity; to prevent individuals with a known history of supporting terrorism from becoming a director, trustee, or similar official of a registered charity; and, further, to allow for the revocation of charitable status when a charity provides false statements for the purpose of maintaining their registration.
Stay tuned for more details on how Budget 2021 could impact your ministry. In the meantime, if you have comments or questions, we invite you to share them in The Green.
Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.