John Ivison: Freeland needs to reset her compass when it comes to Liberal fiscal strategy

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Around the mid-point of her virtual speech to the Toronto Global Economic Forum, Chrystia Freeland stopped and said the thinking she had outlined was “entirely uncontroversial.” The finance minister was right – protecting Canadians’ health, jobs and living standards by using aggressive federal stimulus is an article of faith for politicians across the spectrum. Nobody believes Ottawa should have watched families and businesses go broke during the pandemic. But it was the rest of her speech – and what was missing – that is more problematic. Freeland said her rural, northern Alberta roots means she is not steeped in the ideas of “helicopter money” but that Canada can afford its current spending spree because interest charges, as a share of GDP, are at 100-year lows.