Freeland calls for more deficit spending

Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called for additional deficit spending during her address to the Toronto Global Forum on Wednesday. 

“Our citizens and our companies are suffering through no fault of their own. For a government to abandon them at a time like this would be monstrous,” Freeland said referring to the pandemic.  

“Doing too little is more dangerous and potentially more costly than doing too much.”

Her speech, which did not unveil any additional spending announcements or budgetary updates, underlined the Liberal government’s intention to continue spending their way through the pandemic. 

Freeland also stressed the need to shift towards a green economy as Canada moves towards recovery.  

The Liberals are due for another fiscal update this fall. Earlier this month, the Parliamentary Budget Officer issued a call for increased transparency from the federal government in coronavirus spending reporting by crown corporations. 

“The federal government is the sole shareholder of these Crown corporations and is directly affected by gains or losses in these programs. Except for the Bank of Canada, we have seen limited disclosure to parliamentarians and Canadians on the billions in potential financial exposure from these programs,” said Yves Giroux. 

“Parliamentarians and Canadians need better information to facilitate the financial scrutiny of all major entities of the Government of Canada.”

In August, shortly after Freeland was appointed finance minister following the departure of former Liberal MP Bill Morneau, Freeland revealed that Canada’s deficit has nearly reached a whopping $400 billion.

A recent committee motion introduced by the Conservatives hopes to pore over the Liberal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The motion, which passed earlier this week in the health committee, proposes to dig into how the government bungled Canada’s response to the virus. 

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