Ottawa will run a deficit of at least $18.4 billion next year, meaning the shortfall could well exceed $20 billion once the Liberal government's big-ticket election promises are factored in.

The government says the growing deficit is largely due to the combination of lower oil prices and weaker than expected growth in the United States and world economies.

The estimates released Monday do not include billions of dollars in Liberal spending commitments that are expected in the upcoming federal budget, such as infrastructure investments.

The Liberals are banking on some of their spending promises to help revive economic growth and create jobs.

Should the Liberals still honour their spending promises?

Readers let us know in the latest CBC Forum — a daily, hosted discussion about topics of national interest. 

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.)

Yes, meet the spending commitments

"Canada is on its knees, with the dollar low and the oil low. Any fiscal stimulus would be appreciated to help boost our economy." — RealShoahHours

"Since this is a protracted downturn, fiscal stimulus on infrastructure, research and education is a great idea. The important point is to make sure program spending does not exceed tax revenues." — NibbleAbit

No, rein in the deficit

"They should not honour their spending promises, any more than if I promised my kids expensive toys or allowance raises and later lost my job. We all need to adjust our expectations; when the wallet's empty, we all need to cut back." — James

"I for one do not want a further ballooning deficit. We need to go back to review the plan and adjust to meet the plan as accepted and proposed to the Canadian public. If that means that we are to wait for certain services, so be it. There will come a time where finances are more favourable." — Spiked Lemon

Middle ground

"I'm not sure that they should honour all of their promises, but neither should they implement austerity. Economists — including the IMF and Paul Krugman — have said that austerity doesn't work. So the question is how the promises should be prioritized — or which promises are most necessary." — EOttawa 

"I think they should build a budget that is reflective of the current economic conditions, regardless of what made sense in the fall when election promises were made. If a deficit budget will help to diversify our economy so we are less dependent on natural resources, then I am for that. I am not in favour of spending 'because that is what they promised.'" — Chris

You can read the complete discussion below.

Can't see the forum? Click here

With files from The Canadian Press