Freeland says some government spending items will be cut if there is “less fiscal space” in 2023

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said some federal spending items outlined in this year’s budget and the fall 2022 economic statement could be cut if economic pressures “reduce fiscal space”. says there is.

freeland’s comment at a press conference On January 24, in Hamilton, Ontario, she attends the Liberal Party’s post-holiday cabinet retreat.

A reporter asked Freeland about comments made by Deputy Finance Minister Randy Boissonnaute, who said there was “a lot of uncertainty” about the future direction of the economy.

Boissonnaute also said Ottawa still had “fiscal space to do what it needs to do”, but added that “fiscal space is getting tighter”.

“Is that the approach you’re taking to budgeting? asked.

“I think this is the approach governments should always take when formulating their budgets,” Freeland replied. “If you have less financial space, you can do less.”

The reporter pointed out that the current Liberal government has not practiced its principles in the past.

“I disagree,” said Freeland. “In April I [2022] The budget and the fall economy statement put a lot of emphasis on taking a fiscally responsible approach. ”

“There are many uncertainties in the global economy and we wanted to dry the powder.”

economic outlook

A day before Freeland released his comments, a report co-authored by former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge was released that said the federal government was overly optimistic about the economic outlook for 2023.

The report, released by Bennett Jones and the Canadian Business Council on Jan. 23, said the liberal government’s projected spending outlined in the latest budget is most likely to miss its policy goals. I’m here.

Some key spending items the government is likely to pursue this year include potentially large deals to increase health care transfers to states and investments to begin the transition to a low-carbon economy. included.

Freeland also reiterated on Jan. 24 that Ottawa will continue to send military and financial support to Ukraine, saying that a clear victory over Russia “will be a huge boost for the global economy and a huge boost for Canada.” added.

“We support Ukraine because it is the right thing to do … but we also support Ukraine because it is in our national interest to do so,” she said.

Canadian Press contributed to this report.

peter wilson

Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.