July 8, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
The COVID-19 crisis is the challenge of our generation. The Government of Canada has responded with rapid and broad-based emergency support measures to protect the health and economic well-being of Canadians.
Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented an economic and fiscal snapshot. The federal government has used its strong fiscal position to stabilize the economy and support Canadians by putting in place the largest economic aid package in generations.
While the toll of COVID-19 on the broader economy in 2020 is expected to be the largest and most sudden economic contraction since the Great Depression, measures to flatten the pandemic curve in Canada are paying off, and efforts are underway across the country to safely and gradually reopen the Canadian economy. The actions and investments of governments across Canada to date have helped us get this far. But the road towards recovery remains long and uncertain. Today, and in the months to come, our economic health will largely depend on our public health.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is ensuring Canadians have the support they need to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. Representing nearly 14 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), the Plan includes more than $230 billion in measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians and provide direct support to Canadians, businesses and other employers, and up to $85 billion in tax and customs duty payment deferrals to meet liquidity needs of businesses and Canadian families.
With comparatively low levels of debt, the Government of Canada has the room to borrow and support the Canadian economy. In fact, even given Canada’s increased borrowing needs due to the COVID-19 response, public debt charges are expected to fall in 2020-21, as a result of historically low borrowing rates.
Through responsible fiscal management, the government is building a bridge from an emergency to a safer place where we can build a more resilient economy for the future.
The government will continue to ensure Canadians are supported through this crisis and stands ready to take additional actions to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.