The Canadian government is predicting a historic CDN$343 billion (US$254 billion) deficit for 2020-21 resulting from its economic and stimulus plans to battle COVID-19, the Associated Press reported. The amount, included in a fiscal “snapshot” the Liberal government released Wednesday, is a huge jump from the CDN$28.1 billion (US$20.8 billion) deficit projected prior to the pandemic. The report says that since March, the federal government has spent more than CDN$231 billion (US$171 billion) on health and safety measures as well as direct aid to Canadians and businesses. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the government’s spending as a lifeline to Canadians battling to stay afloat. “We decided to take on that debt to prevent Canadians from having to do it,” he told a news conference. “I know there are people out there who said we should have done less. I think that’s wrong. Now is the time for the federal government to step up and help Canadians during a historical crisis.” Read more.