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Trudeau says his government has ‘always exercised fiscal restraint’

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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to present next week what she promises will be a ‘fiscally responsible plan’

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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that his government has “always exercised fiscal restraint,” as he prepared to deliver next week’s Liberal economic update Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says a plan to balance the budget needs to be included, as well as relief from scheduled carbon tax increases.

“I propose a compromise. No more hikes,” Poilievre said at a press conference on Friday as he made his short list of demands known ahead of the fall economic statement.

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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to present next week what she promises is a “responsible fiscal plan” that will also allow the government to “invest in what Canadians need right now.” He promised that the update would focus on affordability and housing.

Poilievre blamed government spending for many of the problems facing Canada today, such as record food bank use and tent cities popping up across the country.

“(Trudeau) added over $600 billion in inflationary debt, more debt than all previous prime ministers combined, doubling our debt. He flooded our economy with easy money, which bid up the value of the goods we buy and the interest we pay,” Poilievre said.

“Furthermore, he carries with him any massive carbon tax on gas, heat, and everything else trucked in. The consequences are disastrous.”

(Trudeau) added over $600 billion of inflationary debt, more debt than all previous prime ministers combined

Pierre Poilievre

Speaking in San Francisco, Trudeau touted his government’s track record while painting a more upbeat picture than Poilievre of Canada’s economy compared to its international partners.

“We have the lowest deficit in the G7. We have the best debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7… We are one of the three largest economies in the world rated by independent rating agencies at a triple-A, the highest level of economy, with a responsible fiscal track ,” he said.

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“One of the ways we’ve done that is by not doing what conservative politicians want and cutting programs and services to Canadians, but by delivering supports for Canadians.”

Trudeau cited child care and dental care as social policies that he sees as economic policies as well, and pointed out that the Conservatives voted against those measures.

“That’s more of what I’m excited to share next week in the fall economic update: a demonstration that we know how to continue to be fiscally responsible as we make the investments that will grow the economy and support to Canadians,” he said. .

Poilievre also called on the government to adopt his housing bill which aims to accelerate the construction of new housing in cities with predetermined targets while providing a GST rebate to new residential rental properties where the average rent is below the market rate.

The government argued that Poilievre’s bill would in fact be more bureaucratic than its own housing plan set out in Bill C-56, which seeks to eliminate the GST for all new rentals. The NDP agreed speed up the Liberal bill next week in exchange for a series of changes.

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Those changes include the application of GST exemption to co-operative units and stricter measures to ensure more competition in the grocery sector.

“While we didn’t get everything we wanted, and an NDP government would further crack down on corporate greed driving up grocery costs, we were able to make improvements,” said NDP finance critic Daniel Blaikie in a statement sent on Friday night.

The government’s financial update comes at a time when the economy has slowed and where pressure is high to keep up with the NDP’s demands to keep the deal with the Liberals.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said he doesn’t expect a national pharmacare plan to emerge in the wake of next week’s economic downturn but remains optimistic the government will soon table a framework for such a plan. program that costs billions every year.

Recent projections from the parliamentary budget officer show that the federal deficit is expected to increase to $46.5 billion in 2023-24 due to slower revenue growth and higher spending, and will decrease to $8.2 billion in 2028-2029 assuming no new spending.

Just last year, federal projections predicted a surplus in the 2027-2028 fiscal year.

National Post

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