By Western Standard
December 17, 2021
Minutes after the Commons passed the latest Liberal pandemic bill, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said it will cost billions of dollars more than originally planned, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Fighting COVID has required extraordinary government spending,” said Freeland.
Speaking to the Senate, the finance minister said cabinet was “careful” with expenditures.
However, Freeland disclosed the cost of Bill C-2 An Act To An Act To Provide Further Support In Response To Covid-19 was much higher than earlier stated. Freeland on November 24 put the cost at $7.4 billion. Actual expenses were about 61% higher at a total $11.9 billion, Freeland revealed.
“When we introduced these programs we anticipated the cost at $7.4 billion, but with the growing threat of Omicron we decided to set aside an additional $4.5 billion for these programs as well as other measures needed to control the spread,” said Freeland.
The Commons passed the bill at 4:16 p.m. Thursday and adjourned for Christmas. Freeland made her disclosure at 5:10 p.m.
Sen. Scott Tannas (Alta.) said legislators were “backed into a corner” on the legislation.
“We’re tired of this,” said Tannas.
“I hear you,” replied Freeland.
Bill C-2 extends benefits, including lockdown subsidies, for employers and workers. Cabinet may extend subsidies to July 2.
“It’s being arm-twisted.
“We are passing it because of the pressures we are facing. We are not going to give consideration to legitimate amendments that deserve to be given legitimate consideration to make the bill better, to make the bill more efficient.