Special Report: Global Financial Crisis¡¡
OTTAWA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Canada could register budget deficits as high as 46 billion Canadian dollars (36.8 billion U.S. dollars) if a major recession happens during the next few years, a think tank said in a report Tuesday.
Canada has been the only one in the G8 countries to have been enjoying uninterrupted surpluses during the past decade. But the government hinted recently that a deficit is very likely in the new year in the background of the current global economic crisis.
Ottawa-based research institute Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) said that Canada's deficit could reach 46.8 billion Canadian dollars (37.7 billion U.S. dollars) in the coming years, if there is a major recession.
The number is much bigger than parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page's prediction, who said last week that Canada's deficit could be as high as 14 billion Canadian dollars (11.3 billion U.S. dollars) as the economy slows in the next two years.
The CCPA is calling on Ottawa to take decisive action to curtail the damage from a global economic slowdown. "The federal government has a lead role to play in cushioning the impact of a recession, both through federal programs and in partnership with the provinces."
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to unveil some measures to control discretionary spending among politicians and top bureaucrats when he releases the economic update later this week.
Flaherty said Monday that Canada may be headed for a technical recession by the end of this year and into early next year.