How is Ottawa going to pay off its COVID-19 debt? With any luck, it won’t have to

Posted on April 28, 2020 in Debates

Source: — Authors: – Opinion/Editorials
April 27, 2020.   Editorial

To save the economy and support millions of Canadians without work, Ottawa and the provinces are borrowing money on a scale not seen since the Second World War.

In early April, the International Monetary Fund estimated that Canada’s governments will ring up deficits this year worth nearly 12 per cent of gross domestic product. That’s more than $250-billion, or at least 10 times last year’s combined federal-provincial deficits.

And that may understate the pandemic’s final cost. It doesn’t include such things as the federal commercial rent subsidy program announced last week. It makes no provision for Ottawa sending additional financial aid to provinces and cities. It doesn’t include the likelihood of major new spending being needed for testing and tracing.


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