Canada's Fiscal Snapshot Shows a Deficit of $343.2-Billion

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The Liberal Government expects nearly two million Canadians to remain without jobs this year as the COVID-19 pandemic drags down the domestic economy and federal aid sends the deficit to a historic $343.2 billion.

The government laid out its economic and fiscal snapshot Wednesday afternoon that showed there will be a slow return to a new normal, with unemployment high and economic growth low through to at least the end of 2021.

The federal government believes the worst of the economic harm from the pandemic is behind the country but the document says a recovery can't begin in earnest until an effective vaccine or treatment becomes widely available.

The government adds things could however get worse under two alternative scenarios.

Should prolonged shutdowns stay in place, or restrictions not fully roll back, a return to normal activity for households and businesses will be uneven and slower than hoped for, leading to a more pronounced drop in economic output than is already expected.
     
And if the country is hit with a second wave of COVID-19 during the annual flu season, the ensuing lockdowns would cause what the Finance Department describes as a "deeper and longer-lasting negative impact on the economy.''

- with files from The Canadian Press