Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivers the 2020 fiscal update in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 30, 2020.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Liberals have officially started the clock toward a key vote that will determine the fate of billions of dollars in new pandemic-related aid – and the minority government.

The federal government introduced a bill in the House of Commons Wednesday that would enact spending measures proposed in this week’s fall economic statement.

The Liberals will make passage of the legislation a confidence vote, meaning the minority government could fall and trigger an election if it doesn’t garner the necessary support.

Story continues below advertisement

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said his party would carefully read the bill to make sure it does what the government claims.

Monday’s update outlined just over $25 billion in new spending to top up and expand existing programs and create new, targeted support for hard-hit industries.

The Liberals are also promising $1,200 per child under six for families earning up to $120,000, and $600 for families earning over that amount.

The first payment is supposed to happen right after the bill passes, but the government is only suggesting it needs to introduce the legislation, not pass it, before MPs go on a winter break, Poilievre said.

“The government needs to tell us how it plans to make that payment if it doesn’t have the legislation passed,” he said after a morning caucus meeting.

The economic statement also noted the deficit was on track to hit $381.6 billion this fiscal year, but warned the figure could close in on $400 billion if public health restrictions are extended or expanded in the coming weeks.

The federal debt is set to push past $1.2 trillion, with more on the way in the coming years before accounting for the government’s proposed three-year stimulus fund the Liberals say will be between $70 billion and $100 billion.

Story continues below advertisement

Credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar, in an analysis Wednesday, said the cost of extra spending and debt could be worth it to avoid long-term scarring to the economy, which could take the form of people permanently out of jobs and more businesses closing for good.

The agency added that the government will have to “recalibrate public finances” to keep deficits from becoming permanent.

That won’t be easy with a long list of policy promises, the agency said, pointing to a national child-care system, reform of the employment insurance system, green infrastructure spending and demands from provinces for increased health-care transfers.

“Given the medium-term fiscal outlook, there is limited space to fund sizable increases in permanent spending in a sustainable way without also raising revenues,” the report said.

“The government will face difficult fiscal (and political) choices as it prepares the 2021 Budget.”

A majority of MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday backed a Bloc Quebecois motion that called on the federal government to increase its share of health-care spending before the end of the year.

Story continues below advertisement

The vote isn’t binding on the government.

Know what is happening in the halls of power with the day’s top political headlines and commentary as selected by Globe editors (subscribers only). Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies