The bulk of the vision is slated for next year's budget and will not roll out until the pandemic is "under control", but the fall fiscal update unveiled by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday included initial steps in the Liberal government's COVID recovery plan to "build back better" with $13.5 billion in new spending over the next six years. "Without a plan for vaccines, there can be no long-term plan for our economy", O'Toole said in the House of Commons on Monday.
"Canadians have only asked one thing of this government: what is the plan?" "We have a plan to provide vaccines to Canadians".
All eyes - or, at least, the eyes of both Official and Unofficial Ottawa, as well as Canadians sufficiently curious about the state of the nation's mid-pandemic balance books to tune into the House of Commons feed - will be on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland this afternoon as she delivers the long-awaited fall economic statement initially promised by her predecessor, Bill Morneau, before his abrupt departure from cabinet over the summer. "I am really glad the Liberals took my proposal from my leadership platform this spring on support for parents by boosting the Canada Child Benefit". "Without doing that", he said in French, "it's not a concrete gesture to help women".
"We can afford the investment", Freeland said in Parliament. In its place are economic indicators like the unemployment rate and hours worked that the Liberals will use to decide when spending can ease off or when the taps need to be opened wider.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomed the program, saying the business community had called for resources to be directed at sectors most at risk of seeing permanent closures. "Ignoring our warnings, the Liberals took pride in running large structural deficits and raising taxes in good economic times", said O'Toole. With a government that will put the prosperity of all Canadians ahead of the special interests of a select few, Canada will emerge from COVID-19 stronger, richer, and more determined than ever before. "We're pushing because there is a real problem here".
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said nearly a week ago that while Canada has contracts for more than $1 billion in vaccines for COVID-19, because we aren't producing any of the front runners here, we won't be first in line to get them.
"The FES includes welcome elements", said Ms. Paul. The government is proposing $25 billion Canadian (US$19 billion) in new spending.
"However, a piecemeal approach is no substitute for a robust green economic recovery plan".
"Without a plan for vaccines, there can be no plan for the economy", O'Toole said.
However she criticized the failure to deliver a plan that would see emissions cut by 60 per cent from 2005 levels or the implementation of a carbon budget setting out the maximum level of emissions Canada can emit and still keep global temperatures from rising. "Furthermore, any support should be conditional upon the sector agreeing to meet targets consistent with the goal of cutting GHG emissions, and on agreeing to a detailed implementation plan that includes enforcement mechanisms".
But there was no new information in the economic update on when or how those doses will be available to Canadians.
"These data-driven triggers will tell us when the job of building back from the COVID-19 recession is accomplished, and we can bring one-off stimulus spending to an end", Freeland said.
The pandemic shut down large swathes of the Canadian economy in March, and several regions are now under lockdown again as a second wave of Covid-19 - worse than the first - sweeps across the country.
To support Canada's hardest-hit industries, like tourism, hotels, arts and culture, and the air sector, new support including the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program.
She'll also "lay the groundwork for longer-term and higher-cost priorities, such as national affordable child care, pharmacare, and fighting climate change", according to Lim, although just how much detail she's prepared to offer on that front remains to be seen.
The government's fall economic update proposes to send extra child-benefit payments to families next year.