Freeland says feds will strike ’challenging’ balance in fall budget update

Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday the government’s fall economic statement will focus on housing and affordability within a fiscally responsible framework.

“That is a challenging balance to strike. Our government is committed to doing it,” she said. 

The federal government’s financial statements were published Tuesday, revealing the deficit for the 2022−23 fiscal year came in at $35.3 billion. 

That’s $7.7 billion lower than projected in the spring budget.

Treasury Board President Anita Anand, who was present with Freeland at a news conference Tuesday, celebrated the lower−than−expected deficit. 

“That is great news,” Anand said. “This shows that, as we have during COVID, we can pivot and refocus our priorities to decrease our deficit.”

The federal government is facing pressure to rein in spending after the COVID−19 pandemic, particularly as the economy slows. 

However, it is also facing considerable pressure to address the national housing crisis, as polling shows support for the governing Liberals is taking a hit.

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