Morneau promotes budget

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has begun promoting the recent budget that’s already come under fire for its big-ticket spending promises.

Morneau is defending the Liberal government’s strategy in a speech to a breakfast meeting of business leaders in downtown Toronto.

He is highlighting the budget’s many measures intended to help the middle class, including new government aid to help first-time home buyers enter the market.

The budget tabled Monday contains major spending on everything from pharmacare to retraining of foreign workers.

Morneau has said the government plans to run near-term deficits of about $20 billion and has not mapped out a path to return to balance.

The approach has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition Conservatives, who say the government is making future generations pay for today’s spending.

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