Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled her fall economic statement yesterday and shared the updated federal government’s fiscal strategy dealing with COVID-19.

Along with a projected deficit of $381 billion dollars, she also offered support to parents of school-aged children, 1-billion in spending for long-term care homes and aid for the tourism and entertainment sectors.

The update was clear that a financial recovery will not begin until deep into next year and the deficit will not return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2026.

Freeland says now is not the time to turn off the taps of spending and vowed not to make the mistake of the Conservative party following the 2008 recession when stimulus money was withdrawn.

For Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, he says that for him and his government, it was always about keeping people safe.

 

“Residents in West Nipissing are concerned about the pandemic, they’re concerned about their health, concerned on making sure their families are safe and they’re also concerned about getting the vaccine and putting this pandemic aside so they can get back to normal,” he said. “I’ve been active in the community and advocating people make sure call my office, make sure you stay safe but more importantly keep those lines of communication are open.”

Serré says he’s thankful for all of the feedback the community has given him as that feedback goes back to Ottawa.

“With the economic statement, our first priority is keeping people safe. We’ve demonstrated that. The second component is looking to relaunch the economy once we get vaccines in place. For me, the important part is working closely with the province. We announced a billion dollars for long-term care facilities. Facilities in Nickel Belt, and West Nipissing area, they’ll be additional dollars to make sure staff are safe, residents are safe, and we can try and open that up a bit more to make sure we get to see our loved ones in there. it’s sad not having visitors in LTC facilities.”

Serré shares that he has also heard from many young families, and he’s happy that they’ll be getting $1,200 more a year for each child under 6 for low to medium-income families.

Serré says that the Federal Government is working with all levels of government to control the virus and get the vaccines in place and to re-launch the economy. He says it’s important to continue moving forward and to make sure that the economy re-opens.

“But, to be clear, the next few months are going to be hard. I’m asking residents of Nickel Belt for another few months to really make sure their family circles are tight, to think twice about family gatherings as we get close to the Christmas holidays and to bear down together for another few months to make sure that we don’t have the spread of the virus in our municipality,” he says.  “We have to make sure that we control this virus. Clearly, this virus is potent. Clearly, this virus is contagious. We have to make sure we continue wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, not having large crowds, it’s really really important that we do that.”