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Trudeau tells ministers openness, co-operation are key in minority government

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking his finance minister to cut taxes but also keep “fiscal firepower” on hand in case the economy goes bad.

Trudeau is giving detailed to-do lists to his cabinet today in “mandate letters” posted online.

His opening lines to every minister are heavy with reminders the Liberals have only a minority government and finding ways to co-operate with other parties and provincial governments will be critical.

In his letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Trudeau lays out a number of fiscal priorities, including reducing the federal debt relative to the size of Canada’s economy.

He wants Morneau to continue to “invest in people” but also keep some reserves amid warnings the economy might not be as robust in the coming months.

Trudeau asks Health Minister Patty Hajdu to immediately introduce regulations to cut down on the number of teens who vape, and Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is to regulate social-media platforms to reduce online harms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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