Hyping stimulus plans, PM says Harper-era cuts not the way out of COVID-19 recession

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Hyping his government’s coming stimulus plans—as announced in the fall economic statement presented on Monday—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the Liberal approach to lifting the country out of the COVID-19 economic recession won’t be achieved through cuts.

“We all remember what happened when the previous government cut support too quickly during the 2008-2009 recession. That will not be our approach,” Trudeau said, during his Rideau Cottage address on Tuesday, referencing the funding cuts made by former prime minister Stephen Harper more than a decade ago.

“We’ve seen in recommendations from the International Monetary Fund, from the World Bank, from global financial institutions who have said: ‘do not make the same mistakes that were made by many countries’ including by this country and under the previous government, of turning off the taps too quickly after a recession,” said the prime minister.

“In the 2008-2009 recession, spending was scaled back too quickly and that austerity hurt Canadians. What we're going to be doing, is continuing to be there as long as it takes for Canadians to get through this pandemic and kick start the economy once again so it can come properly roaring back.”

Trudeau said that with vaccines on the horizon, the Liberals are starting to look in earnest at what comes next, and that will include a stimulus plan of between three and four per cent of Canada’s GDP, depending on the state of the economy and deficit at the time.

"This will be a significant investment to get our economy back on track, and it’s an investment that will make sure no one gets left behind. We need to address the very real gaps this crisis has laid bare… Because we are all better off when everyone can contribute to their full potential,” Trudeau said.

--with files from CTV News--