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Finance minister releases fall economic and fiscal update


On Monday December 16, Finance Minister Bill Morneau released his fall economic and fiscal update to Canadians. Despite uncertainties in the global business outlook, he stated that Canada will continue to record some of the strongest economic growth among G7 industrial countries, that the economy is “sound and growing” and that the Liberal government will continue to invest in Canadians to prompt growth while gradually bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Economic growth for 2020 will come in at 1.6 per cent, the same rate predicted for the coming year in the budget last March. Growth for 2021 is forecast at 1.8 per cent. Canadian growth is underpinned by the best employment numbers in 40 years, solid after-tax business profits and improved wages for workers, Morneau said.

Morneau indicated the federal government will be recording budget deficits indefinitely. The deficit will rise to $26.6 billion for the current 2019-20 fiscal year, up from the $19.8- billion deficit predicted in the March budget. In the coming 2020-21 fiscal year, the federal government will have a $28.1-billion deficit, an increase from the $19.7-billion deficit forecast in the last budget. In 2024-25, the deficit will be $11.6 billion.

Morneau stated that considering Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the country is in a very good fiscal position.

Engineers Canada will continue to work with the federal government on issues that impact the engineering profession, specifically with the Minister of Finance on the priorities listed in our pre-budget consultation in advance of the 2020 federal budget.