Finance Minister grilled over mounting cost of COVID-19 relief programs


Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was grilled last night by Opposition MPs over the mounting cost of COVID-19 relief programs.
During the four-hour question-and-answer session in the House of Commons, Freeland refused to provide any new numbers on the deficit, the overall federal debt or the cost of servicing that debt should record-low interest rates begin to rise.
Instead, she said that those projections would come in a fiscal update later this fall, not before.
At one point, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre issued a sharp complaint saying the minister hasn't given a single number with regards to any of these questions.
Freeland pushed back, arguing that debt servicing charges as a share of GDP ``are the lowest in 100 years'' and that 76 per cent of Canadians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic are back at work.
But Poilievre accused Freeland of a coverup and of being afraid of disclosing the real costs of the billions in relief programs the government has created.