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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks to reporters before heading to Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 23.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Sunday said Canada still has a path to a “soft landing,” where it could stabilize economically after the blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, without facing a severe recession that many fear.

In an interview on CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live, Ms. Freeland said that she has to strike a balance between helping people in Canada suffering from the effects of inflation and pursuing a policy of fiscal restraint, or risk making the cost of living problem worse.

She said was open to further action on affordability issues but believes the measures already in place will help reduce the impact on Canadians.

“I have to strike a balance. One is supporting Canadians with affordability challenges and the other is fiscal restraint, because I don’t want to make the Bank of Canada’s job harder than it already is,” she said.

When asked about Canada’s ability to weather global economic uncertainty, Ms. Freeland said that the “challenge is not over, but I truly believe that we’re going to get through this together.”

Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 7.7 per cent in May, up near a 40-year high, far above Bank of Canada’s April forecast that it would average 5.8 per cent this quarter.

Ms. Freeland has previously expressed confidence in the Bank of Canada’s ability to rein in surging inflation and keep price gains from becoming entrenched, but said there was no guarantee that the economy would avoid a recession.

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