Politics Briefing: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers economic update that warns of a potential recession


Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a fall economic update Thursday that warns of a potential recession in 2023, presenting two fiscal forecasts based on whether or not that downturn occurs.

The update also announces plans for a new tax on share buybacks and significant incentives for green energy investment aimed at responding to a major package of tax and climate policy reforms approved this year through the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.

The handful of new spending measures announced Thursday include making all Canada student and apprentice loans permanently interest-free, at a cost of $2.7-billion over five years, and $4-billion over six years to automatically issue advance payments of the Canada Workers Benefit to people who had qualified the previous year.

But the overall message that Ms. Freeland sought to deliver is that the federal government is preparing for harder times ahead.

“We are keeping our powder dry,” she said in her speech to the House of Commons.

Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Bill Curry reports here. There’s a highlights package here on the statement.

Check The Globe and Mail for updates on the statement.

Copies of the statement are here and Ms. Freeland’s speech to the House of Commons is here.

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