Morneau takes shot at Tories over recession talk in wake of fiscal update

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OTTAWA — The political war-of-words around the national economy took another turn on Sunday’s political talk shows as the federal finance minister warned Conservatives to stop warning of a looming recession.

On CTV’s Question Period, Bill Morneau warned his Conservative critics to avoid “irresponsible” claims that the country is on track for a recession when private sector economists project growth.

He also defended the government’s spending plans after updated projections barely a week old showed deeper deficits this year and into the future.

Morneau’s fiscal updates released Monday showed the Liberals’ projected deficit of $19.8 billion for this fiscal year will now be $26.6 billion, and next year it will be $28.1 billion before accounting for the Liberals’ election promises.

On Global’s The West Block, Morneau wouldn’t say when the Liberals plan to balance federal books.

The Liberals’ election platform projected four years of deficits of more than $20 billion, including almost $27.4 billion in 2020-21.