Canada unveils largest economic relief package since World War 2

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Canada’s federal government will spend C$100bn ($77bn, £58bn) to kick-start the country’s post-pandemic economy.

It is “the largest economic relief package for our country since the Second World War”, BBC quoted the country’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland as saying on Monday.

The spending will bring the deficit to a historic C$381.6bn by March 2021.

The wide-ranging plan includes targeted relief for hard-hit business sectors, investments in long-term care homes and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The announcement — the first full fiscal update from Canada’s Liberal government since the onset of the pandemic — comes as the country battles a steep second wave of Covid-19 infections, the BBC report adds.

The number of active cases in Canada has more than doubled in November alone, bringing the total number of infections to more than 376,000 — according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. So far, more than 12,000 Canadians have died.

“When the virus is under control and our economy is ready for new growth, we will employ an ambitious stimulus package,” to be spent over the next three years, Freeland said in the House of Commons on Monday.

The spending will amount to 3-4 percent of Canada’s GDP.

Monday’s fiscal plan pledges C$1bn to help provinces and territories improve Covid-19 infection control in long-term care facilities.

Industries that have been particularly vulnerable to economic shutdowns like tourism, travel and arts will be eligible for business loans up to C$1m, with a 10-year term. And for Canada’s lower and middle income families, package promises up to C$1,200 for each child under 6, reports BBC.

An additional C$1bn will also be directed to vaccine agreements.

“Canada has secured the most diverse vaccine portfolio in the world,” Freeland said.

Canada has secured seven different vaccine purchase contracts, she said, enough for each Canadian to receive 10 doses, free of charge.

And to pay for the expansive plan, Canada will see its largest budget shortfall since World War 2.

Author: ApnayOnline

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