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2022 federal budget to be tabled April 7, Freeland says

The government will be tabling the federal 2022 budget on April 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Tuesday.

The budget — the first since the 2021 federal election — is expected to include increased defence spending as well as funding for commitments, such as dental care, made as part of the new Liberal-NDP confidence-and-supply agreement.

The latest economic update, provided by Freeland virtually in December, saw the government commit more than $8 million towards combatting COVID-19, while also predicting a moderate decline in the national deficit. 

The document forecast that the deficit in 2021-22 would drop to $144.5 billion, down from $154.7 billion estimated in the spring 2021 budget. In the 2022-23 fiscal year, the deficit was projected to sit at $58.4 billion, down slightly from the earlier predicted $59.7 billion.

In concluding their 2022 pre-budget hearings, MPs made more than 200 recommendations for what the budget should include or consider, based on their consultations with stakeholders, economists, and industry groups. Among them, presenting a plan to return to balance as soon as possible with adjustments for changing economic conditions; addressing the inequities exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic; and moving to meaningfully address housing affordability.

The vote on the budget — while typically in minority Parliaments is considered a test of the confidence the House of Commons has in the governing party — is expected to pass given the New Democrats have already committed their support.