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Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government intends to focus on growth in the recovery, but first Canada has to navigate the current situation.
“The dynamic nature of the challenge is such that we are not going to make assumptions about what we can’t know today,” he said.
He said at this point, the government hasn’t outlined plans for a stimulus or other program to help grow the economy more quickly.
“We have not provisioned for the next phase it will be very dependent on our success of what we are doing right now.”
Morneau did rule out any tax increases as a way to pay for these rising debts and deficits.
“We think raising taxes would be exactly the wrong response,” he said. “We should be trying to grow our economy.”
The government’s forecast are based on the situation as it stands and the document warns repeatedly that a downturn in the public health situation could be catastrophic for the economy. A full resurgence with renewed lockdowns in the fall would result in much more economic pain, which would extend well into 2021.