Canada has handled coronavirus outbreak better than US, Trudeau says

Roy Thompson Hall and the CN Tower in Toronto

While the toll of COVID-19 on the broader economy in 2020 is expected to be the largest and most sudden economic contraction since the Great Depression, measures to flatten the pandemic curve in Canada are paying off, and efforts are underway across the country to safely and gradually reopen the Canadian economy.

Morneau, however, does say there's a projection of a 5.5 per cent rebound in 2021.

The document tries to make that case, saying the $80-billion Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which had paid out $53.5 billion in benefits as of late June, has covered Canadians' estimated $44.6 billion in lost labour income through the first half of the year.

The deficit is largely due to record emergency aid spending to offset the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians and the Canadian economy, which was virtually shut down to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It is a testament of the shock that COVID-19 had on our economy.

According to the finance minister, one of the government's priorities during the pandemic is to fix the social and economic gaps that left women, young people, and racialized Canadians to suffer the biggest economic blows. Our investments have meant that Canadians and Canadian businesses, instead of drowning in debt and closing up shop, will be better positioned to get back at it.

For this calendar year, the government expects the unemployment rate to hit 9.8 per cent, dropping to 7.8 per cent next year based on forecasts by 13 private-sector economists.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the Liberals failed to provide a plan to stimulate economic and job growth.

Trudeau's comments follow a decision to skip a summit in Washington, DC with US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to mark the entry of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into force, reportedly, because of the threats of re-imposed tariffs. "We have the highest unemployment rate in the G7". And we are the only G7 country without a recovery plan. The document said the government will announce new measures as needed to support the recovery.

"This is not and has not been a time of tightening of belts or for austerity".

The government now projects that debt will rise to 49.1% of GDP in the fiscal year that started on April 1 of this year, up from 31.1% last year.

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