Earlier this afternoon Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland released Budget 2023: A Made-in-Canada Plan. The Liberal approach to this Budget is framed between economic strength on one hand (strongest economic growth in the G7 over the last year; 830,000 more Canadians employed than before the pandemic; near-record low unemployment) and very real economic challenges on the other (persistently high inflation; a slowing economy; affordability concerns).
The Budget also homes in on two intertwined global economic shifts that will frame the Liberal policy agenda in the months ahead: first, the accelerating global race to build net-zero economies and the industries of tomorrow; and second, a realignment of global trade patterns as democracies move to friend-shore their economies by limiting their strategic economic dependence on countries like Russia and China.
The Budget is designed to respond to these challenges and opportunities. Spending is targeted at critical priorities that the Liberals felt required an immediate response such as addressing healthcare challenges in a post-pandemic world, deepening progress on greenhouse gas emission reduction, and addressing Canadians’ affordability concerns. And while the budget is a far cry from austerity – there is $59.9 billion in new spending measures outlined in the budget – it is a leaner budget than in recent years. The new outlays will also be partially offset by increased tax revenues and reductions in government spending on travel and professional services.
Read more for details on the spending and policy mechanisms outlined in the Budget.