Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday said federal debt charges are “absolutely handleable” but would not discuss the figure. Freeland testified for 90 minutes at the Commons finance committee to break a Conservative filibuster of her budget bill.

“It is so important that we work together to pass this legislation as quickly as possible,” testified Freeland. The finance minister had ignored three previous requests to appear for questioning.

“I’ll acknowledge the Minister is here after multiple requests that she has ignored even though the Governor of the Bank of Canada has come regularly at the committee’s request,” said Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan (Calgary Forest Lawn). The filibuster covering 23 hours over three weeks has prevented votes on Bill C-47 the Budget Implementation Act.

Conservative MP Adam Chambers (Simcoe North, Ont.) yesterday challenged Minister Freeland over ongoing deficits that raised the federal debt past $1.1 trillion, according to Public Accounts. “When you have a party you have to pay the band,” said Chambers.

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