Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is facing a series of difficult decisions as she prepares to unveil her first budget in the coming weeks.
The pandemic has left the country with record levels of debt and deficits, and Freeland has promised to spend heavily to help people and businesses get through the crisis. But she must also balance the books over the longer term.
At the same time, the economic outlook is looking increasingly gloomy, with the Bank of Canada recently warning that the country’s recovery from the pandemic is likely to take longer than expected.
That means Freeland will have to grapple with a delicate balancing act: spending enough to support the economy and protect jobs, while at the same time making sure the country can pay its bills down the line.
She will also have to decide how to address the country’s mounting debt, and whether to raise taxes to help pay for the pandemic relief measures.
Freeland has already indicated that her budget will focus on job creation and supporting a green economic recovery. But the decision on how to pay for it all will be the real challenge.