OTTAWA — The federal government is currently facing a politician’s worst economic nightmare, a perfect storm of rising inflation, rising interest rates and, as seems very likely in recent days, a potential recession. Consequently, the federal Liberals’ fall economic statement is largely an attempt to have their political cake and eat it too, aimed at spurring higher output while avoiding further fanning the inflationary flames.
In this regard, the Liberal economic statement appears to have succeeded, at least to some extent, in following what Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland called a prudent and responsible course.
“The Fall Economic Statement contains some of the measures that New Democrats fought for to help Canadians deal with rising costs, but I remain concerned about the impact a recession will have on people. struggling to get by,” said Carol Hughes, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing. “I think they finally did the right thing by listening to New Democrats and making Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans interest free permanently. This will help students struggling with mounting debt get a good education while reducing the money they owe once in the workforce.
Ms Hughes said she was pleased to see other measures like investments in affordable housing, including the doubling of the tax credit for first-time home buyers and an anti-rollover tax to reduce property speculation, but she added a caveat that there were what she sees as missed opportunities.
“One thing New Democrats have been calling for for years is to reduce the GST on home heating,” said Ms. Hughes. “It’s a simple, tangible way to save money on an essential service, especially in the winter, and they ignored this common sense proposition. Nor is there anything here to combat greed and the rising cost of food across the country.
Predictably, the Conservative Official Opposition was not so charitable to the Liberals’ fiscal update.
“The Conservatives will stand up for ordinary people – their paychecks, their homes, their savings – and we will vote against this inflationary scheme,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said in a statement to the House of Commons following the unveiling of the plans. liberal economics.
Mr. Poilievre went on to berate the Liberals for not matching the $30.6 billion in new spending over six years outlined in the update with matching budget cuts. Although Canadian inflation is far behind that experienced by the country’s economic partners in other countries, the Leader of the Opposition said the government’s plans will drive up inflation and hurt average families. Mr Poilievre called the Prime Minister “out of touch” by not doing more to fight inflation and derided the suggestion that external factors are fueling current inflation.
The economic statement’s flagship proposal was the Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit, which aims for the nation to be a reliable, premium energy provider in a net-zero world whose clean hydrogen is offered as an essential element. These investment tax credits are implemented to support investments in clean hydrogen production.
The proposed tax credit will be available for qualifying investments that are made on or after the release date of Canada’s 2023 federal budget and will be phased out after 2030. In this plan, the lowest carbon intensity level who meets all of the eligibility requirements can receive a tax credit of at least 40 percent. Failure to comply with certain working conditions will reduce the maximum rate by 10%.
The Canada Development Investment Corporation will launch the Growth Fund by the end of 2022, allowing it to begin investing immediately to meet Canada’s climate and economic goals. During the first half of 2023, the government will set up a permanent and independent structure of the Growth Fund.
As part of closing Canada’s long-standing productivity gap, the federal government is investing in research, infrastructure and workforce development. These new investments are aimed at benefiting the workforce in Canada with the aim of addressing the country’s significant labor shortages and ensuring that workers are trained to adapt to new technologies and systems. “necessary to solve global climate problems and market demands”.
Under the Union Training and Innovation program, employers will be able to obtain union apprenticeship training in the skilled trades. Funding provided under this stream will help unions develop green skills training for trades workers. Thanks to this investment, 20,000 apprentices and journeymen will be able to acquire valuable experience.
There will be a proposed investment of $962.2 million over eight years in the National Research Council to modernize infrastructure and stimulate more research and innovation projects; $301.4 million proposed over three years for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program to help young people find jobs with complementary support services; $400.5 million over two years for the Canada Summer Jobs program to fund approximately 70,000 summer placements; $100.2 million over three years to support work placements for First Nations youth through the First Nations Youth Employment Strategy pilot program on income assistance; and $33.5 billion through the Canada Infrastructure Program to fund public infrastructure projects (of which $23 billion has currently been invested in more than 5,200 projects).
The NDP, whose support is needed for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to maintain his minority government, however, was not full of praise.
The NDP has spent months pushing for a windfall tax hike for big businesses, including energy companies and grocery stores they say have seen their profits soar during the COVID-19 pandemic. , to help ease the burden on families. The Liberals did not directly address this issue.
“For Canadians who have been told over and over again that the Prime Minister is going to turn his back on them in this fall economic statement, he has in fact turned his back,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh after the Minister of Finance released his update.
In an increasingly polarized political landscape in which they are handcuffed by minority status, the liberals seem to have found some sort of middle ground where both flanks are not entirely satisfied, but in which their left flank appears to be safe. to assure now that they will overthrow later than sooner.

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