How the 2021 Federal Election Changed the Government Funding Landscape

How the 2021 Federal Election Changed the Government Funding Landscape

With the 2021 snap election now behind us and the dust settling on the re-elected Liberal minority government, businesses need to know which government funding programs will remain status quo and what programs will be changed or created based on the campaign promises. While each party was campaigning, it was clear that the there were differences in the funding impacts each party would have on Canadian government grants, loans, and wage subsidies if elected. This article will dive deeper into what changes we believe are to come now that the Liberal Party has been elected a minority power.

Disclaimer: Any funding program predictions made in this article are based on statements made by the Liberal government during their 2021 election campaigning and may change over time.

Historically, the Liberal Party has created funding programs geared towards green economies,  COVID-19 recoveryjob retention and growth, and research and development funding programs. It’s likely that these established initiatives will continue on their current funding program trajectory.

What Goals Will Drive New Federal Funding Programs?

While campaigning during the 2021 election, the Canadian Liberal Party outlined a few key areas they will be prioritizing when allocating funding for business grants, loans, and wage subsidies:

  1. Job Retention and Growth: The Liberal Party has promised to restore one million jobs lost during the pandemic. They have introduced several hiring and training programs that provide support grants and COVID-19 wage subsidies for calling back laid-off employees, as well as onboarding new employees.
  2. COVID-19 Support: With the fourth wave of the pandemic underway, the federal government has pledged $9 billion in funding for training and salary bumps for personal support workers.
  3. Inclusive Workplaces: The Liberal government has made diversity in the workplace a priority for their agenda. They have introduced programs such as the Black Entrepreneurship Fund (BEF) and committed $18 billion in funding over the next five years towards creating new opportunities for the Canadian indigenous population and increasing quality of life.
  4. Green Economy: Developing new and innovative cleantech, businesses’ adoption of clean technologies, and zero emission vehicle innovation have all been part of the Liberal Party’s agenda since being elected in 2015.

When Will We See Approvals on Large Federal Funding Programs?

With the Liberal government being re-elected and the current ministers being reshuffled, approvals on larger federal funding programs will resume once the cabinet shuffle has completed and a brief adjustment period has commenced as the parliament members get up to speed in their new roles. This pause in larger funding application approvals is estimated to take roughly two months. These larger federal funding programs will still receive and review new applications.

Smaller funding application approvals that don’t require a minister sign off, such as federal hiring and training programs, have continued to approve and award funding throughout the election. The same is true for provincial funding programs.

Which Sectors and Industries Will See New Funding Programs?

With the semi-conductor and global chip shortage causing mass manufacturing issues for the Canadian automotive industry, funding will be reallocated to support the jobs and economies within the automotive sector. This includes programs such as the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI).

Non-profit organizations and charities will see funding programs created to help their causes by providing a higher percent of costs covered for many federal government grant and loan programs.

Cleantech will also see additional funding to help the Federal government reach their emission targets to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40‑45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Although it isn’t necessarily one specific industry, Canadian municipalities will also see funding programs created for them to help local economies recover and grow as we emerge from the pandemic.

How Will COVID-19 Business Support Be Affected?

With the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) extended to October 2021, it’s unclear if this program will continue to see extensions, or if the Canadian federal government will opt to reallocate funding towards other federal wage subsidy programs. According to, the CEWS program has approved 4,000,000+ claims and provided $92.12 billion in government subsidies.

Are Current Funding Programs Likely to See Changes?

With the Liberal government retaining its minority power, they will continue to execute the funding programs they outlined in the Canadian Federal Budget 2021, such as the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), and Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC). These funds can all expect to continue awarding funding to eligible businesses.

How Will Hiring & Training Programs Be Affected?

To help the federal government achieve their goal of one million jobs restored from the pandemic, changes and top-ups to current and new grant and wage subsidy programs are expected to be introduced in the coming months. The Liberal government is also trying to make sure Canadian workplaces are inclusive by introducing new programs that aim to hire visible minorities and Indigenous peoples.

View all available hiring and training funding programs.

How Will Business Expansion Programs Be Affected?

With focus being shifted from COVID-19 recovery and business recovery programs, grant and loan programs that focus on business expansion are likely to see a large influx in funding while the federal government assigns more of the nation’s budget into grant and loan programs that help support Canadian businesses as we shift from recovery to growth.

View all available business expansion funding programs.

How Will Research & Development Programs Be Affected?

With the Liberal government pushing for a green economy and the development of innovative cleantech, we will likely see more research and development grant programs receiving a topped up. Programs that focus on research partnerships with academic institutions will also likely see additional funds.

View all available research and development funding programs.

How Will Capital Investment & Tech Adoption Programs Be Affected?

Programs that help businesses to reduce their emissions by adopting green technologies are likely to receive a top-up, and capital programs will help support COVID-19 business recovery in struggling sectors.

View all available capital investment and technology adoption funding programs.

Apply for Federal Government Funding Programs

You can view and sort through a list of every available Canadian federal and provincial program by visiting our Government Funding Program Directory page.  Speak with a member of the Mentor Works application writing team to find out what programs your business may be eligible for by visiting our Get Funding Help page.

Stay up to date with Canadian federal and provincial government funding news and be the first to hear about grant and loan programs when you subscribe to the Mentor Works Weekly Funding Newsletter. We send a weekly update with the biggest news related to hiring, training, R&D, business expansion, tech adoption, and capital investment programs.

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