Economic snapshot expected from Ottawa on Wednesday
CALGARY -- The federal government will give a glimpse Wednesday morning into how much the COVID-19 pandemic has cost Canadians, with a brief overview on spending this year.
With tens of billions of dollars committed in spending for seniors, students, loans to businesses and money for employers to help rehire staff, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says money had to be spent.
“The cost of doing nothing would have been far more to both our healthcare and our economy,” said Trudeau.
“This is not and has not been a time of tightening of belts or for austerity. By building a bridge for Canadians through this crisis we can and will build a stronger and more resilient Canada.
The prime minister says it’s clear that certain sectors will bounce back and some people will be able to find work, but others will not.
"Our government took on debt to reduce the amount Canadians themselves had to take on,” he said.
This is the first economic outlook provided by the Liberal minority government since December 2019 -- when it forecasted a deficit of more than $28 billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Ottawa has spent more than $193 billion on COVID-19 aid packages, including $2,000 monthly payments for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which nearly 11 million Canadians have applied for.