Global Markets: Federal budget to fund child care, keep deficit down

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

– Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will deliver the federal government’s first budget in two years later today, which will include more than C$2 billion towards a national child care program while keeping the deficit below C$400 billion, according to CBC News. The government will also announce an extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy costing C$12 billion, as well as additional funds towards the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, according to the Toronto Star. The government’s plans for economic stimulus, announced last fall, were criticized as being unnecessary as Canada expects an upcoming economic boost.

– In the face of rising cases and hospitalizations, both Ontario and Alberta announced on Sunday they will lower the minimum age for residents to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from 55 to 40. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) still recommends not giving the vaccine to anyone under the age of 55 due to the risk of a rare blood clot disorder. However, Health Canada has approved the vaccine to anyone age 18 or over.

– GameStop Corp.’s (GME) chief executive officer George Sherman is the latest executive from the company to exit, following chief financial officer Jim Bell and chief customer officer Frank Hamlin in recent weeks. The video game retailer, whose stock rallied in January, is in the middle of transforming itself into an e-commerce firm and its shares jumped by nine per cent in pre-market trading earlier today.

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