Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Freeland will present an economic statement in the middle of the turmoil

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Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance of Canada

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Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will present her economic statement on Tuesday, which will likely focus on housing and on the cost of living.

This presentation comes at a time when the Liberal government is struggling to regain the trust of Canadians dissatisfied with the rising cost of living in the country.

However , given the government's financial resources, Ms. Freeland attempted to lower expectations.

We need to make sure our investments provide what Canadians need, but we also need to do it within a fiscally responsible framework, she told reporters Thursday. We will not be able to do everything.

The minister was not very talkative about the content of the statement, contenting herself to repeat that it will address housing and the cost of living.

Last August, at the end of a two-day meeting of his council of ministers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the fight against the increase in the cost of living would be the number one priority. p>Open in full screen mode

Justin Trudeau announced that the fight against the increase in the cost of living is his top priority.

Since then, the federal government has already announced a series of measures, including the elimination of the GST on the construction of new rental housing and the transfer of land and buildings surplus federal funds to developers.

Freeland said the government is looking at ways to make more federal land available and wants to tackle the problem of land leasing. short term, which puts pressure on the availability of housing.

Tim Richter, co-chair of the National Housing Council, an organization that advises the federal housing minister, predicts that the Liberals will wait until the spring budget to announce their main policies.

I have the impression that the government will announce a series of measures between the fall economic statement and the budget. This budget will be the Liberals' main focus on housing and homelessness, says Mr. Richter, who believes the statement could foreshadow future policies.

The cost of living is currently a compelling issue on the federal political scene.

Rents and mortgages have increased dramatically. Low-income Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. Some speakers warn of a situation that pushes people onto the streets.

Ray Sullivan, executive director of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, wants investments to increase the number of social housing units in the country, but he doesn't expect that. such a measure be announced on Tuesday.

I will see what measures will make it possible to progress towards a resolution of this serious political problem which is the lack of housing.

Several observers want the federal government to refrain from spending too much money in order to avoid fueling inflation and helping the Bank of Canada reduce its key rate more quickly. .

Rebekah Young, an economist at Scotiabank, would prefer that the government address reducing inflation since that is the main problem for a large part of the population.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This should be top priority. Tax authorities, both federal and provincial, need to create a team to curb inflation, says Ms. Young.

The federal government recently announced that $500 million in funding for travel and professional services has been redirected and removed from the 2023-2024 budgets of many departments.

Tyler Meredith, a former director of strategy and economic planning for Ms. Freeland, says the government will want to signal to Canadians and financial markets that it will restrain spending to achieve this goal. objective.

It's the quickest way to help Canadians who are going through difficult times, he maintains.

In the meantime, Mr. Meredith says the government can implement measures to help ease the financial burden on Canadians.

We could act with regard to competition in the food sector, he adds. He also wonders if the government will carry out its threats to tax grocery stores if they do not stabilize prices.


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