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edmontonjournal edmontonjournal.com 15 Sep, 2021 10:45 am

Economic recovery plan, anyone? Parties haven't even 'scratched the surface' on vital issue

Economic recovery plan, anyone? Parties haven't even 'scratched the surface' on vital issue
In an election campaign that Justin Trudeau framed as a referendum on Canada’s post-pandemic recovery, parties have failed to distinguish their plans

OTTAWA — Party leaders this election have largely neglected the question of how Canada will achieve the economic growth required to pay for their sizeable spending plans, raising doubts about this country’s long-term fiscal and economic sustainability, experts say.His concerns come as Canada’s economic growth rates have for years remained trapped below two per cent, and as the country’s aging population threatens to further stifle sluggish labour productivity rates.But they warn that debate around such issues in Canada has become detached from equally important questions about where economic growth will be derived, in turn deepening Ottawa’s dependence on debt-financed spending.Back in April, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole lambasted the Trudeau Liberals for tabling a “reckless” budget that doled out over $100 billion in new spending measures as part of a risky gamble to achieve future economic growth.

“That has become a core question in recent campaigns, and questions around how we sustain higher rates of growth, how we sustain a growing economy, seems to be deemphasized.Meanwhile, growth rates in Canada and elsewhere have been in long-term decline since the 1970s, and productivity has stagnated.

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