Canada is recognizing that Black Canadians — particularly Black entrepreneurs and business owners — have been hit hard by the pandemic.

As such, the country's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has just announced Canada's first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program to the tune of $221 million. 

In Freeland's delivery of the Fall 2020 economic statement, she said the current recession is "like no other we have faced." 

She continued to list some Canadians who she feels have been "disproportionately hurt by the COVID-19 recession" including women, new Canadians, young people, Black Canadians, as well as First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals. 

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Our growth plan will be designed with this particular damage in mind and will seek to heal it. 

Chrystia Freeland

She said that COVID-19 has not only exposed but exacerbated the "systemic barriers" Black entrepreneurs and business owners face. 

With that, she announced an investment of $221 million from the Canadian Government and certain Canadian financial institutions for the country's first Black entrepreneurship program.

Of the $221 million, $93 million was put forth by the federal government, she said. 

With that announcement, the room erupted with applause from everyone including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

The minister continued to say that the government would also be investing $1.5 billion into drinking water in all First Nations communities. 

"This unique recession demands a unique response," said Freeland. 

This article's cover photo is for illustrative purposes only. 

 
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