Ottawa Spending $20.8 Billion More Than Expected: Fall Economic Update

Ottawa is posting a $40 billion dollar deficit this year, with $20.8 billion more than expected being spent over the next six years.

Deputy Prime Minister and federal Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, tabled the 2023 Fall Economic Statement this evening. The total government spending for the current fiscal year comes in at $488.7 billion, through to the end of March 2024.

Most of that $20.8 billion is earmarked for new housing programs, with $15 billion going toward loan funding to build more than 30,000 homes across Canada, and $1 billion for a new affordable housing fund over three years to build 7,000 new homes. Both of those programs will come into effect in the 2025-2026 fiscal year. Government is also updating the mortgage charter for banks to offer relief for borrowers.

Up to $7 billion is allocated for special contracts for companies who make major changes to lower their greenhouse-gas emissions.

Other highlights include the exemption of HST and GST for psychotherapy and counselling, $50 million for municipalities to crack down on short-term rentals like AirBnB, and a CRTC investigation into international mobile roaming charges.

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