N.L. government to table budget today after projecting $2.1-billion deficit

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Newfoundland and Labrador government is staring down a $2.1-billion deficit as it prepares to deliver a budget this afternoon.

The first budget by the government of Liberal Premier Andrew Furey is coming halfway through the year because of delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In July, the government projected a 2.1-billion deficit for fiscal 2020-21 — just shy of the record $2.2 billion deficit recorded in fiscal 2015-16.

Finance Minister Siobhan Coady has said that despite the grim forecast, today’s budget shouldn’t have any big surprises.

Looming over the budget announcement is recent news that the projected cost of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project has increased by hundreds of millions of dollars, from $12.7 billion in 2017 to $13.1 billion.

Last week, the federal government announced $320 million to help the province’s struggling offshore oil industry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.

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