Prime Ministers and Government Spending: 2023 Edition

Printer-friendly version
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.

More from this study

Subscribe to the Fraser Institute

Get the latest news from the Fraser Institute on the latest research studies, news and events.