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With Canada’s fiscal outlook at a critical juncture, careful and targeted action required to navigate second wave and economic recovery

30 November 2020

CALGARY, EDMONTON – The fall economic update, tabled today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, displays the breadth and depth of government action required to protect the lives and livelihoods of Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, and simultaneously the importance of planning the path to recovery. This fiscal year, the deficit is expected to hit $381.6 billion and the federal debt to reach $1.4 trillion.

“As the second wave of the pandemic sweeps across the country and around the globe, our businesses will need the certainty and safety nets government supports can provide,” says Murray Sigler, interim CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “At the same time, with news of multiple promising vaccine candidates on the horizon, the time is now to lay the groundwork for a strong post-pandemic recovery and Canada’s future success.”

“Many small businesses rely on holiday shoppers for the majority of their profits each year,” says Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “The new supports announced today will help businesses withstand this very difficult Christmas season, and emerge from COVID-19 with as much strength as possible.”

To enable Canada to emerge from this pandemic on our front foot and ready to lead, we need economic recovery actions that create jobs, build resiliency, and improve our competitiveness through strong fiscal responsibility.

Several initiatives announced today, begin to lay that groundwork:

  • Targeted financial support for the hardest hit economic sectors and regions of our country;
  • Raising the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy back up to a maximum of 75 per cent, and topping up the Canada Emergency Business account;
  • Enabling inclusive growth, for example through the creation of the Black Entrepreneurship Program; and
  • A stimulus package which includes targeted investments in the low carbon economy, a goal which Alberta is well-positioned to advance in partnership with the federal government.

However, there is more work to do and we stand ready to work with the federal government to bring these initiatives to life:

  • A clear deficit and debt reduction plan which leverages economic fundamentals; and
  • Concrete action on early learning and childcare to recuperate and grow labour force participation for Canadian parents, and women in particular.

As recovery efforts move forward, we urge the federal government to work in partnership with businesses and other levels of government to ensure they are targeted, strategic, and supported by a long-term, sustainable financial strategy.



The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 129 years the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.

For media inquiries, please contact Marina Connors, Communications Manager, at or at (403) 750-0401.



The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce supports and enhances the Edmonton Metropolitan Region business community by advocating for conditions that ensure competitiveness, delivering exceptional educational experiences, and connecting people and businesses—all in a socially responsible manner. It’s what we do, and we’ve been doing it for over 130 years.

For media inquiries, please contact Brent Francis, Director, Advocacy and Outreach, at or at (780) 902-4551.

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