Finance Minister to Present Canada’s Economic Snapshot on July 8, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that an update regarding the country’s financial state during the COVID-19 pandemic will be announced on July 8.

An official date for the update will be announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau this afternoon.

According to Trudeau, the update will be different from past ones due to the pandemic creating economic uncertainty for all countries that are currently shut down.

“I’ve consistently said that an economic and fiscal update would be unrealistic right now because it automatically includes projections for a year, three years, five years ahead of time, which quite frankly we simply couldn’t make any responsible predictions about,” Trudeau said.

“This will give Canadians a picture of where our economy is right now, how our response compares to that of other countries, and what we can expect for the months to come”.

Trudeau has also stated that he cannot provide a definitive timeframe for when the government can provide a full economic update or a budget, as that can only happen once the economy has stabilized.

He also said that the Canadian economy is no longer in a state of emergency and is now in a recovery phase.

The decision to reveal the financial state during this time has been met with criticism from political leaders like Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, who has accused the government of shifting the attention away from the financial issue.

“I fear that the government will try to make it happen in the middle of summer to have people not watch it, while they will be having a beer around the barbecue… And I think it is quite another lack of respect for the Parliament”.

Originally, the government was supposed to update the country in March but withheld the information once the COVID-19 virus began to spread around the world drastically.

The federal government has been under pressure to release that information since then, but Trudeau has dismissed those calls for an update, as he argues that there are too many economic variables present to make a proper and accurate projection of how the economy will respond during this time.

“There are so many things we simply don’t know … making projections about what our economy would look like in six months from now or a year from now is simply an exercise in invention and imagination,” Trudeau said to the media last week.

New Democratic Party’s support for spending bill assures no election amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal minority government will be facing a confidence vote regarding the upcoming spending bill which includes COVID-19 financial assistance spending such as the CERB benefit. 

Confidence votes are especially important for minority governments since if the vote fails, which is called a vote of non-confidence, the federal government would have to hold a re-election and potentially lose power at House of Commons. 

Because Trudeau’s Liberal government only holds a minority of seats in the House of Commons, they will need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to pass legislation and avoid a defeat on confidence votes.

However, a spokesperson for the NDP says that their MPs will be voting in favour of the spending bill this evening meaning there is little chance Trudeau’s minority government will fall. 

The support from the NDP’s MPs was announced on Tuesday after Trudeau announced the government is extending the $2,000 a month CERB benefit for another eight weeks. 

“The prime minister says he has heard us and is extending support through CERB through the summer,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement.

“This is what we were calling for in the short term. We’ll keep working to make sure help is there for Canadians who need it in the long term.”

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