The federal government will table its first budget in more than two years on April 19, 2021.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the hotly anticipated date for Budget 2021 in question period on Tuesday in keeping with tradition on how budget dates are normally revealed.
The last budget was tabled on March 19, 2019.
Former finance minister Bill Morneau delayed the budget that was scheduled for March 2020 as the House of Commons shut down amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic crisis.
Since then, the federal government has rolled out hundreds of billions of dollars worth of pandemic spending on a wide range of programs including new benefit programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit, as well as tax deferrals and industrial subsidies.
Estimates from Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux peg the likely deficit at $382 billion.
However, Giroux has cautioned that figure soar to $400 billion in response to changing levels of public health restrictions and the resulting effects on jobs and businesses.
Freeland has also said the government plans to include details in the budget of plans to get women back into the workforce after the pandemic disproportionately devastated women’s involvement in the workforce as daycares and elder care options shuttered amid the pandemic.
She has also said the budget would include details on the pandemic recovery plans, including child care promises.
Freeland has described the three-year program as costing between $70 billion and $100 billion worth of government funding to jumpstart the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Freeland shared an overview of the recovery program in November 2020, while presenting the fiscal snapshot of coronavirus spending, warning that the Canadian economic recovery from the pandemic will likely not begin until “deep into 2021.”
She added that the combination of extensive spending on social programs, an economy stifled by pandemic restrictions and plans for roughly $100 billion in recovery stimulus over the next three fiscal years means the federal deficit likely won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2026.