(thepostmillennial)Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the Trudeau Liberals’ fall economic statement on Monday, providing the first fiscal update since the start of the pandemic this spring.
Freeland provided a positive outlook, saying that “safe, effective, and plentiful vaccines” were “on the way.” This in spite of the record-setting $381 billion deficit held by the federal government.
“As we have learned from previous recessions, the risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much,” said Freeland, referring to the Harper Conservatives’ plan of the 2008 recession, accusing them of pulling stimulus too quickly.
“We don’t know when this pandemic will end, but we do know that it will end,” said the finance minister.
While no date was given for the arrival of the vaccine in Canada, Freeland said that Canadians could rest assured that every Canadian would receive doses free of charge. Freeland pointed to a large vaccine portfolio that amounted to more than 10 doses for every Canadian.
Freeland announced additional measures that would be rolled out, including a billion for a safe long-term care fund for the provinces and territories, as well as vaccination mobilization.
“We are providing new resources to help improve ventilation in our public buildings to make them safer… We are raising the wage subsidy back to a maximum of 75 percent, recognizing that the earliest months of the year are the toughest for many businesses,” said Freeland.
Freeland announced an “ambitious stimulus package to jump start” Canada’s economy, spending three to four percent of Canada’s GDP over four years.
A green economy, rural broadband, airport infrastructure, rapid housing, economic empowerment, and measures to build up Canada’s health and social infrastructure were all listed as targets for the Liberals’ spending plans.
Freeland said that stimulus spending will remain in place and will be phased out after meeting “fiscal guardrails” based on employment numbers.
“As we build back, we have it within our reach to build back better, tackling challenges that hold us all back, homelessness systemic racism, and the unfinished and essential work of reconciliation,” said Freeland.
Shadow Finance Minister Pierre Poilievre criticized the high spending from the Trudeau Liberals, saying that the Trudeau government had “spent the most to achieve the least” in the G7, as Canada has the highest unemployment in the group, outside of Italy, as well as the highest deficit in the G20.
“We aren’t approaching the cliff, or even at the edge of the cliff, we can now see the cliff and this government is running towards it as fast as humanly possible.”