Canada’s latest federal budget promises to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars for charities, reshape direction and control laws, and launch or top up funds for menstrual health, Indigenous climate action, and housing. Yet it falls far short of the ambitious spending plans put forward in the first two years of the pandemic to strengthen Canada’s social safety nets.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s second budget promises just $31.2 billion in net new spending over the next five years. To put that into comparison, 2021’s budget earmarked $30 billion in spending over five years simply to lay the groundwork for Canada’s national childcare plan. This year’s federal budget may represent a return to more guarded federal spending, something Freeland hinted at in the House of Commons.
“Our ability to spend is not infinite,” Freeland told the House s
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