Feds to provide updated fiscal and economic picture Nov. 30
OTTAWA -- The federal government will be releasing a fall economic statement on Nov. 30, providing a revised look at the state of federal finances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parliamentarians and Canadians will get an updated look at the state of Canada’s spending and deficit next Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Monday.
“We entered this crisis with a strong fiscal position, which has allowed us to provide unprecedented support to Canadians during this pandemic,” Freeland said in the House of Commons. “Our plan will continue to support Canadians through the pandemic and ensure that the post-COVID economy is robust, inclusive, and sustainable.”
The government is promising the statement—first committed to in the September throne speech— will include an update on the cost of COVID-19 aid, which has already been compared to wartime spending and is set to grow as the second wave hits the country hard, prompting more shutdowns.
It remains to be seen how detailed this update will be, but it won’t be a full budget, with that promised sometime in 2021
The government's last fiscal "snapshot" came in July and forecast a $343.2-billion budget deficit for 2020. That deficit projection was up dramatically from the pre-pandemic economic update issued in December 2019, which pegged the deficit at $28.1 billon.
In a statement, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre criticized the Liberals for going so long without a federal budget and said the country “needs a plan that will allow our businesses to get back on their feet to hire the necessary workers, to rebuild our workforce and unleash the mighty power of our 20 million great Canadian workers.”
This will be Freeland’s first fiscal update since becoming Canada’s first female finance minister in August, replacing Bill Morneau.