Global Markets: Freeland delivers wide-ranging budget

WINNIPEG – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Canada’s Financial Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a lengthy, large-spending and wide-ranging budget on Monday, the federal government’s first in two years, calling for more than C$101.1 billion in new spending. Some of the main measures include C$30 billion over five years towards a national childcare program, C$10.1 billion this year alone for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, C$3 billion to Health Canada for improvements to long-term care and C$5 billion over seven years towards a new program to fast-track decarbonization projects. The budget also revealed the deficit climbed to C$354.2 billion over the past year, slightly lower than expected, but the government expects it to decline to C$30.7 billion by 2026 if the budget passes.

– Canadian National Railway has stepped in with a rival bid for Kansas City Southern worth C$33 billion, topping Canadian Pacific Railway’s C$25 billion bid for the United States-based railway. “CN and KCS have highly complementary networks with limited overlap that will enable them to accelerate growth in single-owner, single-operator, end-to-end service across North America,” CN president J.J. Ruest said in a statement. “With safer service and better fuel efficiency on key routes from Mexico through the heartland of America, the result will be a safer, faster, cleaner and stronger railway.”

– Chad President Idriss Deby, who had led the country since 1990, was killed on the front line against Islamic rebels, state television announced earlier today. On the day before his death, it was announced he was elected for a sixth straight term in office. Opposition parties have disputed the vote. Deby’s son, Mahamat Kaka, will be named interim president despite opposition calls for the speaker of parliament to take over.

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