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Trudeau tells Freeland new COVID-19 spending must avoid creating permanent programs

Click to play video 'The Federal Liberals unveil their plan for new COVID-19 spending' The Federal Liberals unveil their plan for new COVID-19 spending
Just days after releasing a fiscal update the federal government is proposing billions in new spending to get Canada through the pandemic – Dec 3, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting a caveat on orders to his finance minister to spend as needed until the end of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

Read more: Canada’s deficit to hit $330B as coronavirus lands ‘permanent’ economic impact

In a mandate letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Trudeau says she should use “whatever fiscal firepower” is needed over the coming weeks and months until the economy improves.

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But in doing so, Trudeau writes, Freeland must “avoid creating new permanent spending.”

He adds that any plan to regrow the economy must be guided by a budgetary goal to make sure spending doesn’t go adrift.

Click to play video 'No details on ‘fiscal guardrails’ to keep pandemic spending in check' No details on ‘fiscal guardrails’ to keep pandemic spending in check
No details on ‘fiscal guardrails’ to keep pandemic spending in check – Dec 1, 2020

The detail is contained in updated mandate letters the Prime Minister’s Office made public today, months after it reset the parliamentary agenda with a late-September throne speech.

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In the letters, Trudeau notes the new marching orders add to those laid out to ministers shortly after the Liberals won a minority mandate in the 2019 federal election.

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