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Massive federal deficit shows signs of shrinking, but economists urge policy review to avoid austerity measures

By Matthew Horwood      

Kevin Page says he believes the federal government is still a few years away from considering a 'fiscal reckoning,' and says now is the time to begin launching policy reviews.

Finance Minister Chyrstia Freeland’s December fiscal update forecast Canada’s deficit in 2021-22 would fall to $144.5-billion, down from $154.7-billion estimated in the spring budget. In the 2022-23 fiscal year, the deficit is projected to plummet even further to $58.4-billion. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Despite the federal government posting a “historic” deficit during the pandemic, economists and Canada’s first parliamentary budget officer forsee it rapidly shrinking in the coming years as the country exits the pandemic and pulls back on its broad-based supports for Canadians.

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NDP caucus retreat brings renewed focus on health care and cost-of-living concerns ahead of House return

News|By Matthew Horwood 3:59 PM ET
NDP MPs say last week's retreat was a chance to speak about issues impacting Canadians the most and to 'amplify' their voices when the House of Commons sits again.

Address ‘badly funded’ WHO, build robust international institutions to tackle health and climate change, urges former PM Martin

News|By Kevin Philipupillai 6:06 PM ET
In a webinar hosted by the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy, Paul Martin described a view of multilateralism that was shaped by his collaboration with other G20 finance ministers.

Liberal leadership speculation a distraction, Trudeau should shut it down firmly, say Liberal MPs, political insiders, and pollsters

News|By Abbas Rana
If the Liberal leadership speculation does not stop, Liberals could end up in the same situation as Conservatives are now in, says Darrell Bricker. But Nik Nanos says Trudeau could theoretically win another government.

House sitting ‘make or break’ for O’Toole’s leadership, say Conservatives

News|By Abbas Rana
Conservative caucus members opposed to leader Erin O’Toole have to decide if their political enemy is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or O’Toole, says pollster Nik Nanos.

‘I can feel the level of anxiety in people’s voices’: Zoom fatigue, stressed-out constituents and threats, the lives of parliamentarians through the pandemic

MPs say they've experienced rising threats to their personal safety and increased difficulty connecting with their constituents during the pandemic.

Supply chain crisis and federal budget occupy agriculture sector in busy December

Three of the top six most active advocacy groups in December represented the agricultural sector.

In defiance of O’Toole, Saskatchewan MPs vote to back Batters in regional caucus: source

News|By Abbas Rana
In a regional caucus meeting Thursday evening, Saskatchewan MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of Senator Denise Batters' staying in the Saskatchewan caucus.

National housing strategy investments ‘not enough’ to increase housing supply, says CMHC

Canada’s Superintendent of Financial Institutions Peter Routledge says Canada’s housing sector has systems in place to absorb shocks from rising interest rates.

Alexa McDonough and the cost of blazing trails

Feature|By Chelsea Nash
Alexa McDonough, who died on Jan. 15 at the age of 77, was the second woman to lead the federal NDP from 1995 through 2006; a time, her former colleagues recall, in which women in politics faced much sexism.
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