Examining Federal Debt in Canada by Prime Minister Since Confederation finds that by the end of his first term later this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have increased federal debt by 5.6 per cent per person—the largest increase of any prime minister in Canadian history who didn’t govern during a world war or recession. By contrast, other recent Liberal prime ministers such as Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Lester Pearson who also never governed during a world war or recession all cut per-person debt—Chrétien by 13 per cent, Martin by 8 per cent and Pearson by 6 per cent.
A Turning Point or More of the Same? Ontario's Fiscal Choices in Budget 2019 finds that the Ontario provincial government could balance the budget by 2020/21 with a one per cent reduction in program spending in each of the next two years. A 9.8 per cent reduction over the next two years would not only achieve balance, but would also allow the government to lower taxes and increase tax competitiveness.
A Spending Framework for Alberta: Balancing the Need for Deficit Elimination and Tax Reform finds that the Alberta government could balance its budget by 2021/22—and create the fiscal room for much-needed tax relief—if program spending were cut by 10.9 per cent over the next three years. While a 10.9 per cent spending reduction would be significant, it is substantially smaller than the reductions implemented by the Klein government in the 1990s. It would also bring Alberta’s per-person spending closer into line with neighbouring British Columbia, which currently spends 21 per cent less per person than Alberta does.
Canada’s Rising Personal Tax Rates and Falling Tax Competitiveness finds that Canadian workers across the income spectrum—and across the country—pay significantly higher personal income taxes than their American counterparts. In fact, at incomes of $50,000, $150,000 and $300,000, among all 61 provinces and states in Canada and the U.S., the 10 highest combined personal income tax rates are in the 10 Canadian provinces.
Effective Tax and Royalty Rates on New Investment in Oil and Gas after Canadian and American Tax Reform finds that, despite the federal government’s recent (albeit temporary) investment incentive measures, the effective tax rate on new investment in the oil and gas sectors are uncompetitive in two of Canada’s major energy-producing provinces: Saskatchewan and B.C. In fact, Saskatchewan has the highest taxes on new investment in both oil and gas among all major energy-producing jurisdictions in North America, and B.C. has the second-highest tax rate on new gas investments in Canada.
What Happens to the Federal Deficit if a Recession Occurs in 2019? finds that the federal government’s projected 2019/20 deficit of $19.6 billion will automatically reach between $28 and $34 billion if a recession hits this year, even before the government pursues any discretionary spending, for example, stimulus spending.
Education Spending and Public School Enrolment in Canada, 2019 finds that spending on public schools across Canada increased in every province over the past decade by an average of 17.3 per cent, on a per-student basis, after adjusting for inflation. Nominally, spending increased from about $49 billion in 2006/07 to nearly $65 billion in 2015/16, the most recent year of available Statistics Canada data. Teacher and staff compensation (salaries, pensions and benefits) accounted for 84 per cent of that increased spending, rising from $35 billion to more than $48 billion over the same 10-year period.