Canada’s economic stimulus is scheduled to end on March 31st, but already the government is under substantial pressure to add more.
While Canada’s Liberals are the most vocal about extending stimulus measures, even the Conservatives are against simply pulling the plug:
In its last budget, the federal government laid out measures that would allow Canada to return to balanced budget by mid-decade, through a combination of cuts to the public service, limits on defence spending and higher EI premiums. The fall fiscal update, to be tabled in the coming months, may provide more detail on the government’s outlook, and how deep the spending cuts in the public service will be. This week, the government asked its key unions to negotiate wages before contracts expire to help manage “financial predictability.”
John Baird, the government House Leader, said Thursday his government’s focus on returning to budget balance would not waver and a second round of stimulus is not in the cards.
Yet, in the same breath, Mr. Baird signaled the Conservatives won’t sit idly by as the recovery slows. He said the government would unveil at least three new measures in the coming “week or two” aimed at fostering growth and job creation, without elaborating.
In comparison to the U.S., where stimulus has become such a dirty word that it needs to be called by another name, Canadian politics seem slightly more nuanced when it comes to economic policy.
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