January 17, 2016 12:29 pm
Updated: January 17, 2016 10:10 pm

Liberal cabinet holding retreat to plan 2016 budget

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers will huddle in a New Brunswick resort town for three days starting Sunday to discuss what they can – and cannot – accomplish during the coming parliamentary session. Mike Le Couteur reports.


SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. – The federal Liberals will begin the process of planning out the year ahead and framing the size and scope of their first budget later today.

A working dinner tonight kicks off a retreat for cabinet ministers who will meet for the first time in 2016 after a short sitting of the House of Commons in December.

Cabinet ministers will have a full day of meetings Monday before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a handful of ministers travel overseas to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

READ MORE: Is the Liberal economic plan a ‘hollow’ one?

The economy will be on the agenda for the cabinet meeting with a slumping loonie, declining oil prices and disappointing job numbers.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been hearing concerns about the economy from Canadians during his pre-budget consultations and has tried to calm frayed nerves by pointing to the Liberal election platform.

WATCH: Bill Morneau asked tough questions in Calgary

Insiders have told The Canadian Press the Liberals are “actively” considering speeding up delivery of the more than $5 billion in extra infrastructure spending the government pledged in the election to help stimulate economic growth through 2016.

READ MORE: Economy tanking but government approval ratings surprisingly high

The Liberals had vowed to run deficits of no more than $10 billion this year and next, but have since shifted to calling the figure a target.

The federal budget is expected to be delivered in mid- to late-March.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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