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Conservatives call on Liberals to provide ‘urgent’ economic update

Conservatives call on Liberals to provide ‘urgent’ economic update
Canada
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OTTAWA — The Conservatives are calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to deliver an “urgent” fall economic update, including a plan to get back to balance.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, the finance critic, says he wants to see the Liberal government provide a fiscal update before the holidays that would include tax cuts for entrepreneurs, efforts to get rid of regulatory red tape and a plan to phase out the deficit over the next few years.

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The Ottawa-area MP notes the country lost about 71,000 jobs last month, according to Statistics Canada, which was the biggest monthly drop since the financial crisis of a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the American unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in half a century.

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The re-elected Liberals promised during the fall election campaign to reduce the deficit to $21 billion by the fourth year of their mandate, while the Conservatives had promised to deliver a $667-million surplus in 2024-25.

Poilievre says the Liberals have had plenty of time since the October election to prepare a fiscal update.

“The storm clouds of our economy have been gathering overhead for a long time, so if they are this ill-prepared for the trouble that is unfolding, it says something about their ability to govern,” Poilievre told a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday.

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Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class. The economy is resilient, he said in a statement.

“While we will always remain vigilant to any potential risks to our economy, Canada has a stable and resilient financial sector that supports a strong and growing economy — an economy that continues to grow as we work with partners right across the country to address immediate and long-term challenges, including in the resource sector,” Morneau said Sunday.
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