Liberals to detail preview of federal deficit, spending affected by COVID-19

Bill Morneau

It's not a budget, and not a fiscal update but the federal Liberals are set to lay out today how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted government finances for the fiscal year. 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to deliver what he's calling a "snapshot" of Canada's economy in the COVID-19 era. 

The Liberals have regularly updated MPs about total spending on emergency aid, which by last count amounted to over $174 billion, but have yet to put a figure on the deficit for the fiscal year.

The parliamentary budget office has suggested the deficit could be as deep as $252 billion.

Other private sector estimates suggest $300 billion wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.

Economists say they'll be watching to ensure that, whatever new debt the government takes on, it is sustainable over time.