Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland faces growing concerns among some of the country’s leading economic thinkers that she is not taking her job seriously enough.
The nonchalance with which Ottawa is taking on hundreds of billions of dollars in new debt is starting to make business leaders antsy. Opening the floodgates was the right approach in April. Keeping them open indefinitely looks reckless.
Yet, Ms. Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have spent the past few weeks promising just that. In the run-up to next week’s Speech from the Throne, they have given little indication that they intend to heed calls to produce an exit strategy from unprecedented spending levels.
To many budget watchers, it is starting to look like the bad old days of runaway deficits all over again.
With the federal deficit already hurtling toward $400-billion this year, or nearly 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, Canadians risk a rude awakening once the pandemic subsides and financial markets begin once again focusing on economic fundamentals.
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