Economic and Fiscal Update 2021: Issues for Parliamentarians


This report highlights key issues arising from the 2021 Economic and Fiscal Update to assist parliamentarians in their budgetary deliberations.


  • To promote fiscal transparency, the report recommends legislative amendments for Parliament to consider, such as moving the release date of the Public Accounts by three months to no later than September 30th.

  • The report shows that since the start of the pandemic, the Government has spent, or has planned to spend, $541.9 billion in new measures—almost one third of which is not part of the COVID-19 Response Plan.

  • The $71.2 billion in new measures in the Government’s Update are largely in addition to the measures included in the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2021 election platform. The report estimates that remaining platform measures would amount to $48.5 billion in net new spending.

  • Fiscal guardrail indicators in the Update have effectively returned to their pre-pandemic benchmarks. The report notes that the policy rationale for the additional spending initially presented as stimulus spending no longer exists.