The COVID-19 crisis is the challenge of our generation. Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs, lost hours, or lost wages, and businesses of all sizes are still facing uncertainty. I also want to acknowledge the thousands of Canadians who have gotten sick in the midst of this pandemic and also extend my sympathies to the families of the over 8,000 Canadians who lost their lives to this terrible virus. Canadians have made great sacrifices, and our Government stepped in with immediate action to support Canadians while they fought to stop the spread of this virus.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is ensuring that Canadians have the support they need to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. Our government has been clear from the beginning: Canadians should not have to choose between protecting their job or the health of themselves or their loved ones. Representing nearly 14 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), the Plan includes more than $230 billion in measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians and provide direct support to Canadians, businesses and other employers, and up to $85 billion in tax and customs duty payment deferrals to meet liquidity needs of businesses and Canadian families. Some of these measures include:
The combination of these measures and many others brought forward by our government represent the most comprehensive and substantial peacetime investment in Canada’s history. Our investments have meant that Canadians and Canadian businesses, instead of closing their doors, will be better positioned to come roaring back as we safely reopen the economy.
Today, Minister Morneau presented Parliament with an economic and fiscal snapshot. It highlighted how our government was able to use Canada’s strong fiscal position to stabilize our economy and support Canadians. The Government took on debt so individual Canadians would not have to. We kept the economy going so that as different sectors come back to work they can pick up where they left off.
It also stated that the temporary measures implemented through the government’s economic response plan will have a significant impact on the federal deficit. Coupled with the severe deterioration in the economic outlook, these result in a projected deficit of $343.2 billion in 2020-21.
While this year’s deficit estimate is elevated, the government’s response is in line with the fiscal response deployed by other comparator countries. Coming out of the crisis, Canada is expected to maintain its low debt advantage among G7 countries. Our government is strongly committed to maintaining this advantage and will work to ensure that future generations are not burdened with COVID-19 related debt.
To be clear: the well-being of Canadians had to come before all else. If we did not act, did not take the measures we did when we did, we don’t have to look far to see how the virus has taken hold in countries who did not institute the same measures. We must remain vigilant to keep protecting the health and safety of Canadians. We will continue to put Canadians, their health, their economic well-being and security first.
The Government of Canada has your back in these most difficult of times. Together, we will get through this and build a better, fairer, more resilient country.
Hon. Karina Gould
Member of Parliament
To read the full Economic and Fiscal Profile, please consult the link found here.
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