Federal fiscal update expected on Wednesday

Parliament Hill

Opposition parties are laying out their demands for the Trudeau government as it prepares to update Canadians on the country's finances after four months of COVID-19.

Wednesday's fiscal snapshot is expected to give an idea of how the government sees the rest of the fiscal year playing out, including figures for a potential deficit.

But the Conservatives and N-D-P made it clear Sunday that they want more than just numbers -- they want action.

That includes additions, changes and expansions to COVID-19 support programs along with more accountability and transparency.

The latest federal figures show direct government spending on COVID-19 supports at just over 174 billion dollars.

That total includes another increase to the budget for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is now expected to cost 80 billion dollars after eligibility was increased to 24 weeks from 16.

At the same time, Statistics Canada has reported the Canadian economy shrank 11.6 per cent in April -- the largest monthly drop on record.

And that followed a 7.5 contraction in gross domestic product in March.