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Finance Minister outlines budget priorities as pre-budget week kicks off

Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to the media in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. Freeland has outlined some of the key government spending priorities as she kicked a week of pre-budget events.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Iwanyshyn

OSHAWA, Ont. — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined some of the key government spending priorities as she kicked a week of pre-budget events. 

Speaking to a group of electrician students at a union training centre in Oshawa, Ont., Freeland emphasized that the federal government will continue to invest in the transition to a clean economy. 

Freeland says it would be reckless to pull back on such spending, even as she said the government will show more fiscal restraint in the budget overall as part of efforts to rein in inflation.

Her signal of tighter spending control comes after the government has faced criticism for helping fuel inflation with overly generous COVID-19 support and funding. 

She says the government will still provide targeted relief for those most affected by rising prices, but that wider efforts to support Canadians would only make inflation worse.

Freeland said more spending on health care, child care, housing and skills training will also be coming as they are economic polices as well as social ones. 

"Investments in our economic capacity are fiscally responsible, and failure to make the necessary investments in our economic capacity and in our economic future, that is irresponsible. And that is reckless."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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