Canada has handled coronavirus outbreak better than US, Trudeau says

Andrew Cummings
July 10, 2020

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.

The parliamentary budget office has suggested the deficit could be as deep as $252-billion while other private sector estimates suggest $300-billion wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. The federal debt-to-GDP is expected to rise to 49.1 per cent from 31 per cent. Economists expect the economy to contract by 6.8 per cent in 2020, before rebounding by 5.5 per cent in 2021.

The mounting deficit has also pushed the government's total debt level to more than C$1 trillion — a number never before seen in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that he is concerned about reports that the United States is considering reimposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum and possibly steel. Our investments have meant that Canadians and Canadian businesses, instead of drowning in debt and closing up shop, will be better positioned to get back at it.

"Governments want to take on the debt burden (which belongs to all Canadians at the end of the day), so consumers don't have to do so individually", White told Yahoo Finance Canada.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, the leader of the opposition, called it a dire picture.

Finance Canada provided little insight into when it would begin unwinding the CERB program in particular, saying only that it would "make necessary changes to the program later this summer so people can have the help they need while supporting the recovery".

"The economic and fiscal projection released today is dire and it underscores the toll COVID-19 has taken on small businesses", said CFIB president Dan Kelly in a statement. The document said the government will announce new measures as needed to support the recovery. "Certainty is a cheap stimulus measure that can help many businesses".

The deficit is largely due to record emergency aid spending to offset the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians and the Canadian economy, which was virtually shut down to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking with Saltwire Network, Nova Scotia MP and Associate Minister of Finance Sean Fraser said what Canada has essentially been able to do is replace the volume of money that was pulled out of the economy as a result of the pandemic and put it in with money that will be financed over the long term.

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