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Federal Liberals to deliver fall economic statement

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 30th, 2020

OTTAWA – The federal Liberals will provide Canadians with a long-awaited update on the health of federal finances later today, and potentially unveil a suite of new spending.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will deliver the fall economic statement in the House of Commons this afternoon after markets close.

The economic statement should have a full accounting of pandemic spending so far, and the depth of this year’s deficit, which in July was forecast at a historic $343.2 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estimates vary of how deep a deficit the Liberals will unveil today, with a Scotiabank report Friday saying a range of $400 billion to $450 billion is possible.

The government is under pressure to help out industries like travel and restaurants that may take longer to recover from the pandemic.

Observers are keeping a close eye on how much spending space new promises take up, which could limit the government’s capacity to spend in next year’s budget before deficits become permanent.

The government is also expected to reveal a small step today towards a national child-care system.

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