Facing the prospect of a significant economic downturn, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled her third Fall Economic Statement (FES) this afternoon. This is the annual autumn update on federal finances and an outlook for the Canadian economy.
With the central bank and private-sector economists predicting a recession in the first quarter of 2023, it is not a surprise that the overarching theme for today’s FES was fiscal prudence. The statement showed a keen awareness of the economic conditions Canadians will face in the coming months, and recognition of the need for a restrained fiscal framework.
The FES revealed the federal government’’s strategy to adapt to these conditions, including by boosting government revenue with corporate tax reform on share buybacks and stimulating targeted growth with investment tax credits in clean technology and hydrogen. Freeland also signaled her intent to keep the budget on a deficit-reduction track and to provide cost of living support to Canadians, with a particular focus on students and small businesses.
The finance minister provided notice to the House of Commons on Wednesday of a bill including measures from today’s update and Budget 2022, suggesting the government intends to waste no time on the roll out of measures announced today. On Thursday, the minister gave notice of a corresponding ways and means motion to provide the government with the authority to include tax changes in legislation. Stakeholders should anticipate the government to advance legislative proposals quickly when the House of Commons returns from a pre-scheduled break week to take place between November 7-11.
Click through to view our summary and analysis of today’s Fall Economic Statement