Question Period: International Monetary Fund

By: The Hon. Clément Gignac

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Kings Cove, Newfoundland

Hon. Clément Gignac: Senator Gold, I would like to talk about fiscal discipline.

Most experts agree that your government did the right thing at the beginning of the pandemic by injecting tens of billions of dollars into the economy to avoid an economic depression. However, those same experts also think that this was made possible by the fiscal discipline of previous governments, which resulted in Canada having a AAA credit rating and a 30% debt load.

At the beginning of the summer, the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, issued its report and recommended that the government adopt fiscal anchors, noting that good intentions to reduce the deficit in the medium term were not enough.

Senator Gold, the government will be presenting its fall economic statement in the coming weeks. Does the Minister of Finance intend to consider the IMF’s recommendations?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Certainly, we are taking recommendations from reliable sources into consideration.

The Government of Canada’s economic plan will continue to strike a balance between the need to support Canadians today and the need to invest in our economic future. The government will continue to do so in a fiscally responsible way.

The International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development anticipate that Canada will have the strongest growth of any G7 country in 2024. The government is therefore taking a responsible and balanced approach to budget management while supporting the most vulnerable Canadians, strengthening the public health care system, investing in Canada’s future prosperity and ensuring its long-term fiscal sustainability.

Senator Gignac: Senator Gold, according to National Bank economists, Canada’s monetary policy is the most restrictive of the G7. At his last appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, David Dodge, former governor of the Bank of Canada, said that the government would be well advised to adopt fiscal anchors to support monetary policy.

Can you reassure the Senate that your government is going to submit a responsible fiscal framework before moving ahead with the New Democratic Party shopping list?

Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. I will reiterate that in the weeks and months to come, we expect to receive an interim report from the government. I am sure it will be prudent, responsible and balanced.

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