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Federal government rules out March budget as it evaluates lockdowns, new variants

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Freeland mum on whether normalcy to return at end of this year amid vaccinations' Coronavirus: Freeland mum on whether normalcy to return at end of this year amid vaccinations
WATCH ABOVE: Freeland mum on whether normalcy to return at end of 2021 amid covid-19 vaccinations – Jan 25, 2021

The federal Liberals are ruling out a budget this month, but plan to table one at some point this spring, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed Monday.

“The federal government continues to evaluate the economic impact of regional lockdowns, the emergence of new variants of the virus, and the increased pace of vaccine distribution,” Press Secretary Kat Cuplinskas told Global News.

Read more: Canada hints at ‘major’ coronavirus recovery plan but still no brakes on spending

“While we are not planning for a March budget, we look forward to presenting one to the country this spring.

Cuplinskas added the date will be announced “in due course.”

The move, first reported by The Globe and Mail, means it will be more than two years since the federal government tabled its last budget on March 19, 2019.

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Read more: Liberals introduce coronavirus spending bill days after unveiling economic update

Ottawa last provided a fiscal update at the end of November. At the time, the government said its deficit was on track to exceed $381.6 billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year, but warned the figure could be closer to $400 billion if public health restrictions were expanded.

Since then, many parts of the country entered stricter lockdowns to deal with a second wave of the coronavirus and emergence of new variants.

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