question period — Finance

Budget 2021

April 20, 2021


[15:14]

Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative.

Senator Gold, yesterday the Minister of Finance introduced a budget that would substantially transform our social infrastructure if these measures were to pass. Beyond child care, which I fully support, there are hundreds of millions of dollars set aside for Black Canadians. But one concern raised by many Black Canadians is that the federal public service, which will manage these funds and work with these communities to get them their money, has a very poor understanding of Black communities, of their needs and how to work with them.

This is supported by the soon-to-be-released survey led by our colleague Senator Colin Deacon, in which Black entrepreneurs say that they have little confidence in applying for funding through banks and other financial institutions with which they have had negative experiences; the very same institutions that are being tasked, in the past and now, to lead the distribution of funding.

Senator Gold, what is the government’s plan to shore up the capacity of the federal public service to make sure the money promised in this budget makes it to the individuals, businesses and non-profits that need it most?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate)
[15:16]

Thank you for your question, senator. The measures in the budget are designed to help Canadians in all sectors and in many ways, so thank you for your acknowledgement of the important elements regarding child care. Of course, there are many others, and the budget contains important measures to help small businesses get through and rebound with strength as we transition towards a recovery.

The public service is mindful of the importance of being attuned to the needs of disparate communities in Canada, and I can assure this chamber that it is working diligently to make sure that its programs are effective and deliver the goods to those communities and those businesses most in need.

The Hon. the Speaker
[15:16]

Senator Moodie, do you wish to ask a supplementary question?

[15:17]

Thank you. No supplementary question at this time.