Finance Minister Bill Morneau responds during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Federal Liberal government to release fall economic update Nov. 21

Finance Minister Bill Morneau told the House of Commons that the economy is still on a roll and the unemployment rate is hovering near four-decade lows.

The Trudeau government will release its fall economic update on Nov. 21 as part of a plan that Ottawa insists will help keep Canada competitive.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who made the announcement on Thursday, told the House of Commons that the economy is still on a roll and the unemployment rate is hovering near four-decade lows.

There are concerns, however, that Canada has lost some of the advantages it once boasted as an investment destination.

Corporate Canada and, more recently, a Senate committee have been pressing Morneau to slash business taxes to keep the country from falling behind after major tax and regulatory reforms in the United States.

In the U.S., the government has been forced to borrow more cash — and run deeper deficits — in order to cover President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.

Sources with knowledge of Ottawa’s competitiveness plan have said Morneau is looking at targeted measures rather than broad-based corporate tax cuts.

The fall update will also contain fresh projections on economic indicators and on the path of the federal books, which posted a $19-billion deficit last year.

In this year’s federal budget, Morneau projected a shortfall of $18.1 billion for 2018-19, with annual deficits set to shrink each year to $12.3 billion in 2022-23. The projections include annual $3-billion cushions to offset risks.

“I’m pleased to say that on Nov. 21 we’ll introduce our fall economic statement so we can update Canadians on further actions we’ll take to keep our economy growing, to keep people investing in our country and creating jobs,” Morneau said Thursday.

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Related: Cities make power play for new fiscal order with eye to 2019 federal election

The Canadian Press

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