Liberals to ask MPs to OK $87 billion in new spending, fuelled by pandemic aid

Stock image of Canadian Money.

OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals are asking parliamentarians to approve $60 billion in spending on a key COVID-19 emergency benefit for workers.

The Liberals had expected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to cost the federal purse about $35 billion this fiscal year, but revised that estimate in recent days after realizing more workers than expected were applying for aid.

The most recent federal figures show that as of Monday, more than 8.3 million Canadians have applied for the relief program, which has paid out nearly $42.6 billion in combined benefits.

The request in supplementary spending estimates released Tuesday are part of an overall package of $87 billion in additional measures unveiled since main spending estimates were released in March.

The majority of that spending is driven by the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also includes $481.2 million for the Indian Day Schools settlement and $585.8 million for two new naval support ships.