The Federal Government’s Economic and Fiscal Update announced new proposed budget items to extend the fight against COVID-19 and support individuals and businesses. Find the key takeaways below.
Read our free Briefing Deck, “Canada’s Economic and Fiscal Update 2021: COVID-19 is Producing Debt and Inflation for All” available below, to get additional insights about the update.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented an Economic and Fiscal Update to Parliament on December 14. In this first revision of the government’s economic forecast since Budget 2021, the federal Liberals commit 8.1 billion (B) dollars in new spending to help finish the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are some of the key takeaways of the proposed measures outlined in the update:
- The new budget deficit of $144.5 billion is lower than the previously forecasted $154.7 billion stated in Budget 2021. Consequently, the country’s projected debt-to-GDP ratio has been revised and is now expected to peak at 48 per cent this year compared to 51.2 per cent forecasted in Budget 2021.
- The government has pledged $37.4 million over the next three years to Transport Canada to support the implementation and oversight of a vaccine mandate for federally regulated air, rail, and marine employees and passengers.
- Public Health Agency of Canada will receive up to $2 billion over two years, starting this year, to support the procurement of COVID-19 therapeutics.
- The government also announced its plans to extend wage and rent subsidies for businesses most affected by the pandemic. The cost of these programs and subsidies, which are expected to last until 2022-23, is projected to be around $3.2 B.
- Freeland emphasized the importance of immigration to support Canada’s economic recovery and announced that the government will be investing $85 million (M) in Canada’s immigration system to reach the previously announced commitment to bring 411,000 immigrants to the country in 2022, the highest number in Canadian history.
According to the Finance Minister, people and jobs remain the focus of the government. The Economic and Fiscal Update includes targeted investments to ensure Canada can finish the fight against COVID-19 and grow its economy while supporting families, growing the middle class, and improving people’s standard of living.