Canadian Freelancers: The Federal Government Wants Your Opinion On Next Year’s Budget
The Canadian federal government is asking for everyone’s opinions on what should be in next year’s budget. Even as the country grapples with a slow vaccine roll out and a national political embarrassment, the business of government must continue. As a result, all Canadians – and especially Canadian freelancers – have the opportunity to share their opinions on Canada’s next budget.
Let’s Talk Budget just released its annual questionnaire and submission portal. The launch was first announced on Twitter by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (not to be confused with freelance). This budget consultation comes on the heels of record-breaking debt levels in Canada due to immense government spending to prop up the economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to engage
The government offers two ways for citizens to engage: a questionnaire and a direct submission form.
The questionnaire takes about five minutes, according to the Let’s Talk Budget website. Questions are all posited as if you were building the budget. The first section asks about your key priorities for recovery. From there, questions revolve around how you measure successful recovery and what other projects you feel the Canadian government should invest in. Many of the questions provide upwards of 10 possible priorities, but you can only choose three – a clear indication that the government simply cannot do it all.
For those that know exactly what they want to say, you can directly submit your perspectives. All you have to do is share your name (or your organization’s) name, and upload your PDF letter.
From there, the website indicates, “your feedback will be shared with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Parliamentary Secretary and departmental officials. They will consider your input alongside the research economists at the Department of Finance have been doing to help inform decisions on the next Budget.”
Freelancing in Canada
While there are over 50 million freelancers in the United States, that number is much smaller in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, Canada only has 2.9 million self-employed people. Unfortunately, Canada does not have an official designation for “freelancer” in its statistics or census.
Recent attempts to study the gig economy in Canada have been vague. Some studies suggest 30% of Canadians participate in some form of gig work. Other estimates from the census put it closer to 8% of the overall population. Regardless, these numbers skew lower than in the United States, where projections say freelancing will become the dominant “job” in the near future.