The federal government is planning a major stimulus program worth as much as $100-billion over three years to jolt the Canadian economy once the pandemic is under control, a pledge that is in addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars it has already spent to support workers and businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. But the government won’t release the details of that plan until the 2021 budget.
Monday’s update pushes the projected size of this year’s deficit to $381.6-billion, up from the $343.2-billion forecast in early July. The report notes that the deficit could be just shy of $400-billion if the pandemic worsens, leading to more restrictions.
Ottawa vows tailored financial support for hardest-hit sectors
Ottawa promised a mix of new credit and expanded subsidies for the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in its fall economic statement on Monday, as businesses worry the second wave will be more financially devastating than the first.
The Department of Finance said its new program would help sectors such as tourism, hospitality, air travel and entertainment with loans of up to $1-million and as long as 10 years to repay them. Other struggling sectors will also receive varying levels of tailored support as well.
‘Fiscal guardrails’ shrouded in fog as net federal debt to pass $1-trillion mark
As part of Monday’s fall economic update, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa will use “fiscal guardrails” to determine when to wind down emergency pandemic spending, which has sent federal debt soaring far past the $1-trillion mark.
But those fiscal guardrails are unclear, leaving Canadians with little insight as to when the federal government might deem the economy sufficiently recovered that it will turn its attention to reducing spending to sustainable levels.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canada will be among the first countries to receive vaccine shipments from Moderna: Canada will be among the first countries to receive vaccine shipments from Moderna, the biotechnology company’s chief medical officer said Monday, amid questions about how quickly the country will be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines to Canadians.
Element AI hands out pink slips hours after announcement of sale to U.S.-based ServiceNow: Hours after Montreal startup Element AI was sold to a U.S. software company, a number of employees received termination notices and were told their stock options are “void and cancelled ... with no value in lieu provided.” It’s a disappointing outcome for a company that hoped of building a Canadian artificial intelligence giant.
No organized racist games in B.C. hospitals, but report finds widespread discrimination: An independent watchdog has dismissed allegations that health care workers in B.C. emergency rooms were playing racist games where they guessed the blood alcohol levels of Indigenous patients. However, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says Indigenous people experience widespread racism and stereotyping in B.C.’s health care system.
London AI lab DeepMind claims breakthrough that could accelerate drug discovery: An artificial intelligence lab in London has built a computer system that can do in hours or even minutes what it takes biologists months, years or even decades to do – identify the precise shape of a protein.
World shares advance: World shares edged higher on Tuesday after robust China data boosted expectations of a recovery from the COVID-19 downturn and as drugmakers seek fast approval for their vaccines and authorities look set to keep stimulus support. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 1.81 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.83 per cent and 0.92 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 1.34 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.86 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.05 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
André Picard: “No matter how much politicians huff and puff and demand “straight answers,” there are still a lot more unknowns that knowns. Anyone who thinks they can circle dates on the calendar and say with any certainty when vaccination will begin and when it will be completed is a fool.”
Reakash Walters, Anthony N. Morgan and Joshua Sealy-Harrington: “The speed at which technology has advanced is staggering, and the criminal justice system must move along with it. The very legitimacy and integrity of the system is deeply threatened whenever it fails to evolve with society.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
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MOMENT IN TIME: DEC. 1, 1841
Civil War veteran born in New Brunswick
Sarah Edmonds was only one of hundreds of women known to have fought disguised as men in the U.S. Civil War, but was certainly among the bravest – and almost certainly the only Canadian woman to have done so. Proficient with a gun and on horseback as a soldier, she was even better known as a daring spy, disappearing behind Confederate lines disguised as a slave or Irish immigrant or cook. Born in New Brunswick, her memoir, Unsexed, or the Female Soldier, is more than a thriller; it is a portrait of rebellion against the patriarchy – she wrote of her “hatred of male tyranny” – that saw her flee her home and reinvent herself as a Bible “salesman” in Flint, Mich. When the war broke out, she enlisted as Franklin Flint Thompson, a field nurse in Company F, 2nd Michigan Infantry and saw Union and Confederate forces mowed down by the thousands in battles. For her slave disguise, she would blacken her face with silver nitrate to gather intelligence on Confederate military formations. She died in 1898 and is buried in Washington Cemetery in Houston, the only woman in the Civil War veterans’ plot. Eric Reguly