Finance Minister Morneau begins promoting federal budget with Toronto speech

TORONTO — 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.The Canadian Press read more