Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, met virtually with provincial and territorial Finance Ministers. This was the fourteenth call chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister.
Finance Ministers began with a discussion of the recent federal budget and its plan to create jobs and growth across the country. Finance Ministers discussed the need to continue supporting Canadians and businesses through the third wave and they welcomed the budget’s proposal to extend business supports, namely the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support.
Finance Ministers discussed how important collaboration and implementation of budget measures, and other federal investments, will be to support Canadians as the country moves towards recovery. This week’s historic public transit investment in Ontario was brought up as an example of cooperation that is good for the environment, good for people, and good for economic growth.
Finance Ministers discussed the progress in their vaccination campaigns and the various milestones they have reached in administering doses to Canadians. Discussions also included various reopening plans in the coming weeks and months. The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will help small businesses hire the workers they need to grow and recover as the economy reopens.
The Deputy Prime Minister discussed Canada’s low debt-to-GDP ratio that is the envy of the G7, Canada’s recently reaffirmed AAA credit rating, and Canada’s issuance of a 5-year $US global bond that was oversubscribed and issued at just six basis points above the US treasury bond – a clear sign of the stability and sustainability of Canada’s economic plan. Finance Ministers acknowledged that the reaffirmed creditworthiness of the federal government supports their own borrowing plans.
The group agreed that continued federal-provincial-territorial collaboration is the best way to support Canadians and Canadian businesses and ensure a safe and robust recovery.