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This summary includes immediate highlights of Federal Budget 2022 tabled by Finance Minister Chrystia Freelend in the House of Commons on April 7, 2022. Further analysis and implications of budget measures on gender equality and diversity will be shared on our social media channels in the coming days.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $539.3 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Women and Gender Equality Canada to enable provinces and territories to supplement and enhance services and supports within their jurisdictions to prevent gender-based violence and support survivors.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $100 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support the implementation of the forthcoming Federal LGBTQ2 Action Plan, which will support a fairer and more equal Canada for LGBTQ2 Canadians
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $85 million over four years, starting in 2022-23, to the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the work underway to launch a new Anti-Racism Strategy and National Action Plan on Combatting Hate. This funding will support community projects that ensure that Black and racialized Canadians, and religious minorities have access to resources that support their full participation in the Canadian economy, while also raising awareness of issues related to racism and hate in Canada.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $50 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Employment and Social Development Canada for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness.
The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development will explore further options to continue supporting capacity building within Black-led and Black-serving community organizations in the long term.
To push back against religious discrimination, hateful rhetoric and racism at home and abroad, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $11.2 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, with $2.4 million ongoing, to the Department of Canadian Heritage and Global Affairs Canada as follows:
- $5.6 million over five years, with $1.2 million ongoing to support the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism.
- $5.6 million over five years, with $1.2 million ongoing to support the new Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia.
Federal Funding for the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora
In 1993, the Honourable Jean Augustine made history as the first Black Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons and later became the first Black Canadian to be appointed to the Federal Cabinet.
Ms. Augustine has also had a distinguished career as a social justice activist and educator. The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, housed at York University, is focused on addressing the systemic barriers and racial inequalities in the Canadian education system to improve educational outcomes for Black students.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1.5 million in 2022-23 to the Department of Canadian Heritage for a federal contribution towards an endowment which would support the ongoing activities of the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $25 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, for Women and Gender Equality Canada to establish a national pilot project for a Menstrual Equity Fund that will help make menstrual products available to Canadians in need.
Budget 2022 proposes to allow medical expenses related to a surrogate mother or a sperm, ova, or embryo donor that are incurred in Canada for 2022 and subsequent taxation years to be claimed. This would include costs that have been reimbursed to a surrogate for in vitro fertilization expenses.
Budget 2022 also proposes to allow fees paid to fertility clinics and donor banks in Canada in order to obtain donor sperm and ova to be eligible under the Medical Expense Tax Credit for 2022 and subsequent taxation years.
The government intends to introduce legislative amendments to the Canada Labour Code in the coming year to provide additional support to federally regulated employees who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023-24, to Employment and Social Development Canada for an Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This funding will enable provinces and territories to make additional child care investments, including the building of new facilities.
Budget 2022 proposes to invest an additional $11 billion over six years to continue to support Indigenous children and families, and to help Indigenous communities continue to grow and shape their futures.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $209.8 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to increase the support provided to communities to document, locate, and memorialize burial sites at former residential schools; to support the operations of and a new building for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; and to ensure the complete disclosure of federal documents related to residential schools.
The federal government launched the Wellness Together Canada portal in April 2020 in response to the unprecedented rise in levels of stress, anxiety, and depression associated with the pandemic. Since then, more than two million people across Canada have accessed free information and support through the portal. Children and young people make up almost 50 per cent of users, and 42 per cent of texting users have identified themselves as LGBTQ2.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $140 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Health Canada for the Wellness Together Canada portal so it can continue to provide Canadians with tools and services to support their mental health and well-being. The Wellness Together Canada portal complements PocketWell, a free app launched in January 2022 that helps Canadians access free and confidential sessions with social workers, psychologists and other professionals, as well as other mental health and substance use prevention services from their phone.
To ensure sufficient flexibility for charities to carry out their work, Budget 2022 proposes to amend the Income Tax Act to allow a charity to provide its resources to organizations that are not qualified donees, provided that the charity meets certain requirements designed to ensure accountability. This is intended to implement the spirit of Bill S-216, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act, which is currently being considered by Parliament.
Every year, charities are required to spend a minimum amount based on the value of their investment assets. This is known as the “disbursement quota” and it ensures that charitable donations are being invested into our communities.
- Following consultations with the charitable sector in 2021, Budget 2022 proposes to introduce a new graduated disbursement quota rate for charities. For investment assets exceeding $1 million, the rate of the disbursement quota will be increased from 3.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
This new, higher rate will boost support for the charitable sector while being set at a level that is sustainable, ensuring the continued availability of funding over the longer term.
These changes will be effective in respect of a charity’s fiscal period beginning on or after January 1, 2023, and will be reviewed after five years.
The Canada Revenue Agency will also improve the collection of information from charities, including whether charities are meeting their disbursement quota, and on information related to investments and donor-advised funds held by charities.