Canada Finance Minister Bill Morneau has just announced a projected budget deficit of $343-billion, the largest since World War II. The original projected budget deficit in Canada before the COVID-19 pandemic was $34.4-billion, an increase of 1000%. When factored in with the increase of national debt in Canada to $1.2-trillion, this makes the economic toll of the pandemic the worst impact on the Canadian economy since the Great Depression,
The economy is projected to shrink by 6.8%, with 5.5-million Canadians — one third of the work force in Canada — either having lost their jobs or working reduced hours. Unemployment is projected to stay at around 10% this year, and fall to 8% next year.
Bill Morneau confirmed that because of the extension of the wage subsidy, with changes so that more businesses are able to rehire their employees, an additional $50-billion has been projected. $10-billion more has been allotted for Employment Insurance (EI), after the CERB runs out for those who are eligible. ■
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