Main federal parties each plan more spending to boost post-election economy

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Billions of dollars of investment have been promised by leaders of each main federal party during the election campaign. Each contribution is designed to help the country’s economic recovery and try to garner votes before Canada goes to the polls.

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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole unveiled Canada’s recovery plan on day two of the campaign. He suggested that his party could end the deficit within 10 years, spending more than $50 billion in the first five years.

The liberal platform pledged $13 billion in new spending this year – contributing $78 billion over the first five years to help recover from the pandemic. It also outlines a plan to reduce the current deficit of $350 billion to $32 billion in 2025-26.

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Recently, the NDP released costs related to a one percent “wealth tax” on households with net assets of more than $10 million. It is estimated that $166 billion will be generated over five years, but in the same time the expenditure will reach $215 billion.

“Clearly political parties feel that Canadians are not significantly concerned about the deficit,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist at Deloitte Canada. “They are more concerned about health risks, the environment, housing affordability, and these other items.”

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Small businesses have suffered significant revenue losses as a result of health restrictions and safety measures imposed across the country. Due to reduced hours and closure, the employees have faced difficulties without income.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has promised to increase rent subsidies and increase loans for business owners. The Conservatives said it would provide a “rebuild Main Street tax credit” of 25 percent on amounts up to $100,000 invested in a small business over the next two years.

“Small and medium-sized firms have some very short-term objectives,” said Dan Kelly, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “Many of them are seeing some in the months as we go through fall and winter.”

Kelly stressed that if it’s going to be viable, aid needs to be expanded over the long term, “they need to make sure that the support programs that have been in place will continue or, in fact, will be extended.” “

Each of the three main parties has promised that they will create at least one million jobs if elected.

The Liberal Party plans to extend emergency measures introduced during the pandemic, including prolonging the recovery program until March 31. Temporary wage and rent support will also be provided to the tourism industry.

Once the emergency wage subsidy ends, Conservatives pledge to pay half the wages of new employees for six months. The NDP said it would provide employers with employment insurance and a hiring bonus to cover a portion of the Canada Pension Plan.

“We need to focus on job quality, not the quantity of jobs,” said Sheila Block, a senior economist at the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. “We really need support like a well-functioning EI system that will protect workers, protection for gig workers, and sick pay.”

The cost of living is also top-notch for voters and many will be looking to the next government for help.

“Canadians are more concerned about inflation because we have seen a rise in the prices of many goods during the pandemic,” Alexander said.

Canada’s annual inflation rate reached 4.1 percent in August, the highest since 2003. The increase was driven by gasoline prices and the cost of new homes.

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