How big is the federal deficit? Finance minister to talk numbers Monday
Finance Minister Bill Morneau answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday, Feb.4, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS.Adrian Wyld)
Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 19, 2016 6:24PM EST
OTTAWA - The federal finance minister is poised to provide Canadians a better sense of the size of the budgetary deficit for the coming year.
A government official says Bill Morneau will deliver a presentation Monday to update the country on the government's fiscal and economic situation.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the details were not yet public, says Morneau will avoid providing a hard number on the shortfall because the upcoming budget has yet to be completed.
Morneau recently heard downgraded forecasts from private-sector economists whose projections are averaged to create a fiscal baseline for Ottawa's budget, expected late next month.
Morneau's announcement will come as the new Liberal government tries to find ways to fulfil big-ticket spending election promises amid tough economic conditions that are slashing billions from its bottom line.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently acknowledged that his government would no longer live up to its pledge to keep the 2016-17 deficit under $10 billion.