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Federal finance minister feeling confident about upcoming budget

Last Updated Mar 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm MDT

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Summary

Bill Morneau feeling good about newest federal budget being tabled Wednesday

Skills training, infrastructure and innovation are areas expecting a federal funding boost

OTTAWA, ON. – As the Trudeau government prepares to unveil its second budget on Wednesday, the man behind the blueprint is sounding pretty confident about what you can expect.

With a new fiscal plan just waiting to be tabled, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is optimistic about the direction of the country’s economy. Morneau took part in the classic budget tradition of picking up a pair of new shoes before unveiling his fiscal plan. He showed off the new black leather shoes to school children in Toronto. The footwear was custom-made in Edmonton by an e-commerce company.

He says there have been many improvements since the fall update in November. “The strong job growth that we’ve had over the past six months, better than any time since 2002, [and] increasing the economic outcome is looking so much stronger than even a few months ago.”

Morneau adds now it’s time to start the long term investments the government has promised. He calls the progress being made on Parliament

Hill will help the foundation for the next step in his economic plan. “It gives us the ability now to think about the longer term, making those investments in the sectors we think Canada has a competitive advantage in, places where we can really have the opportunity for exciting new jobs.”

Infrastructure, skills training for workers, and innovation investments all expected to be major themes, but the plan is not without its challenges.

Experts say deep deficits will limit the government’s discretionary spending, and there is still a lot of uncertainty caused by US President Donald Trump prompting speculation some tax measures could be held off until we know the full trump effect on the Canadian economy.

The budget will be tabled this Wednesday, we will have full coverage both on-air and online.

Morneau was speaking on our podcast Maclean’s On the Hill. Click here to listen to the full interview.

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