Liberals extend COVID-19 aid in new budget

The federal Liberals have introduced its first budget in more than two years,

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has delivered a plan that sees more than $100 million in new spending over the next three years amid record-smashing deficits.  It is what the government says is a plan to finish the fight against COVID-19,  and ensure a resilient economic recovery that creates jobs and growth for Canadians.

For the first time ever, Canada’s debt is over $1 trillion dollars after a deficit of $354 billion for the pandemic year that has just ended and an expected deficit of $155 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22.

“This budget is about finishing the fight against COVID,” Freeland said, in her budget-day speech. “It’s about healing the economic wounds left by the COVID recession. And it’s about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days and decades to come. “It’s about meeting the urgent needs of today and about building for the long term. It’s a budget focused on middle class Canadians and on pulling more Canadians up into the middle class. It’s a plan that embraces this moment of global transformation to a green, clean economy.”

Child care was a major focus and is an area the federal government aims at addressing. one of the biggest holes exposed by the crisis that Ottawa plans to address over the coming years.

The government is committing up to $30 billion over five years in order to split the cost of child care 50/50 with the provinces — pending bilateral agreements. Ottawa is banking on reducing the average fees of regulated child care by 50 per cent by the end of 2022, with the average cost proposed to come down to $10 a day by 2025-26.

The government will need to get at least one opposition party to support it to avoid a pandemic election this spring.

Freeland will be on 620 CKRM Tuesday morning as she will talk about the budget with Gloria Evans and Cody Glydon at 7:50.





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