Prime Ministers and Government Spending: 2023 Edition

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Prime Ministers and Government Spending: 2023 Edition


  • Per-person federal program spending (adjusted for inflation) reached $19,208 in 2020-21, by far the highest level in Canada’s history. Non-COVID-related per-person spending in 2020-21 was $12,752.
  • Federal spending reached $13,571 per-person in 2021-22, which represents the second highest level in the country’s history.
  • Even if we exclude COVID-related spending, 2020 and 2021 are still the two highest per-person spending years in Canadian history.
  • Per-person spending is expected to decrease in 2022-23, reaching $11,498. It is still projected to be 5.0% higher than the level seen in 2019-20, which was the highest historical level of spending pre-COVID, and 11.3% above the 2009 recession.
  • Among post-World War II prime ministers, Justin Trudeau has overseen the second largest annual average increase in per-person spending (6.8%), though this spending was partly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on track to record the five highest levels of per-person spending (2018 to 2022) in Canadian history.

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