A fiscal ‘snapshot’ from the Trudeau government estimates the federal deficit for the 2020-21 fiscal year will be $343.2 billion.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented the update Wednesday afternoon saying it’s expected the economy will contract by 6.8 per cent in 2020 as a whole because of COVID-19, its sharpest drop since the Great Depression.

Morneau says providing support like the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has led to Ottawa spending $236 billion to date to address COVID-19.

Morneau, however, does say there’s a projection of a 5.5 per cent rebound in 2021. He says they are projecting that by the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year next March, $469 billion more will be spent that what was projected in spending targets set in December 2019.

The rising deficit has pushed the federal government’s total debt level to more than $1 trillion, a record-setting number in the country. Morneau says he expects to deliver an economic update or a budget in the fall.