LANGUISHING LOONIE COULD PUSH UP INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING BY TRUDEAU LIBERALS

Jan 14, 2016

By Jane Brown

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There are indications the Trudeau Liberals are actively considering moving up the timetable on some infrastructure spending in order to boost the faltering economy.

Asked yesterday if the government may spend more than the promised $5-billion dollars extra on infrastructure in the coming year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau did not rule out the idea, but added details will be outlined in his budget, expected in March.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about relations between his Minister of Infrastructure and the city of Toronto after his meeting yesterday with Mayor John Tory.

“Minister (Amarjeet) Sohi and others have been engaged very closely with the mayor and with officials here at (Toronto) City Hall to ensure that we’re spending on the right things to both create jobs and economic activity right now, but also lead towards greater prosperity and growth in the medium and long term,” Trudeau explained.

The issue comes up as commodity prices continue to slide, the dollar keeps falling and already sluggish economic growth has slowed to a crawl in the three months since Trudeau took office.

The languishing loonie is trading overseas below the 70 cent U.S. mark after closing at 69.71 cents American, the lowest close for the dollar since April 30th 2003.

A growing minority of economists is calling for the Bank of Canada to shave interest rates from the current 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent in the upcoming interest rate decision set for next Wednesday (January 20th).

Interest rate cuts make borrowing money cheaper and also push the loonie lower, providing more support to Canada’s export sector. That foreign demand increases Canadian production levels and in turn supports employment.

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