Politics

Morneau to release fall economic and fiscal update next week

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release his fall economic and fiscal update Dec. 16. The news comes after the Conservatives accused the Liberal government of ignoring signs that the economy is facing challenges.

Finance minister predicting growth for next year

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he will release his fall economic and fiscal update Dec. 16. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release his fall economic and fiscal update Dec. 16. 

The announcement comes after a week which saw the Conservatives accuse the Liberal government of ignoring signs that the economy is facing challenges.

Statistics Canada reported that Canada lost 71,000 jobs in November — about 45,000 of them in Quebec and another 18,000 in Alberta.

The Conservatives have also hounded Morneau over the rising number of personal bankruptcies in Canada.

In the 12 months ending Oct. 31, business and personal bankruptcies in Canada rose by 8.8 per cent — compared to a year-over-year rise of just 1.4 per cent for the period ending Oct. 31, 2018, 2.6 per cent in 2017 and 4.1 per cent in 2016.

While it's true the Canadian economy lost a large number of jobs last month, overall the economy is still up 300,000 jobs over the previous year.

And while business and personal bankruptcies are up overall, the numbers vary greatly across the country. Alberta and Newfoundland, two oil-producing provinces, saw total bankruptcies rise by twice the national average, at 15.1 and 15.3 per cent respectively.

But in Saskatchewan, also an oil-producing province, bankruptcies only rose by one per cent. In Quebec, which was hit hard by job losses last month, bankruptcies rose by 1.9 per cent.

Growth ahead, says minister

Morneau has said he expects the Canadian economy to continue to grow, and to be one of the top performing economies in the G7 by the end of next year.

Morneau's update, a document typically released several months before the federal budget, will provide more context for the finance minister's rosy predictions for the coming year.

The document also will lay out project and program spending for the coming months.

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