Deficits & Debt

— Feb 25, 2021
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Federal and Provincial Debt-Interest Costs for Canadians

Federal and Provincial Debt-Interest Costs for Canadians is a new study that finds taxpayers across Canada will pay a total of $49.6 billion—or about $4 billion a month—in interest payments for the federal and provincial debts this year alone. Even provinces that recently had low interest costs, such as Alberta, have lost this advantage due to years of mounting debt and deficits.

— Feb 11, 2021
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Comparing Economic Performance in Five Pre-Recession Periods is a new study that compares numerous economic indicators relating to income growth, labour markets and business investment for the last five pre-recessionary periods: 1986-1989, 1997-2000, 2005-2008, 2011-2014, and 2016-2019. On almost all of the measures included in the analysis, the economic performance from 2016 to 2019 (the years preceding the COVID-19 recession) was the weakest.

— Feb 2, 2021
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The Growing Debt Burden for Canadians: 2021 Edition

The Growing Debt Burden for Canadians: 2021 Edition is a new study that finds combined federal and provincial government debt in Canada has doubled from $1.0 trillion in 2007/08 to a projected $2.0 trillion this year. And the combined debt now equals 91.6 per cent of the Canadian economy—up from 65.2 per cent last year.

— May 26, 2020
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Prime Ministers and Government Spending: Updated 2020 Edition

Prime Ministers and Government Spending, Updated 2020 Edition finds that total per-person spending in 2020 will reach $13,226, including $3,920 per Canadian in COVID-related spending. This represents a 46.6 per cent increase over the previous highest spending level reached in 2019 of $9,041. Crucially, 2020’s total program spending, after adjusting for inflation, is 50.7 per cent higher than per-person spending during the 2009 recession, and 74.5 per cent higher than the highest point of per-person spending during the Second World War.

— May 26, 2020
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Deferring Federal Taxes: Illustrating the Deficit Using the GST

Deferring Federal Taxes: Illustrating the Deficit Using the GST is a new study that uses the goods and services tax to highlight how much tax the federal government was deferring before the recession. To contextualize the size of the pre-recession deficit, the federal GST (currently five per cent) would have to have been nine per cent in order to balance the budget.

— Apr 28, 2020
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A Friend in Need: How Albertans Continue to Keep Federal Finances Afloat, 2020

A Friend in Need: How Albertans Continue to Keep Federal Finances Afloat, 2020 finds that from 2014 to 2018, Alberta’s net contribution to federal finances was $94.9 billion, by far the largest contribution from any province during that time period. Crucially, Ontario’s net contribution was $58.3 billion, but it’s population in 2018 was more than three times larger than Alberta’s. British Columbia was the only other net contributing province ($29.6 billion) during that time, meaning every other province received more from Ottawa than it sent to Ottawa.