Canadian public debt

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The Canadian government debt, commonly called the "public debt" or the "national debt", is the amount of money owed by the Government of Canada to holders of Canadian Treasury security. In 2013, this number stood at CAD$1.2 trillion across federal and provincial governments.[1] With the total GDP somewhere around CAD$1.8 trillion, Canada's overall debt/GDP ratio is around 66%. "Gross debt" is the national debt plus intragovernmental debt obligations or debt held by trust funds. Types of securities sold by the government include treasury bills, notes, bonds, Real Return Bonds, Canada Savings Bonds, and provincial government securities.

The annual government "deficit" is the difference between government receipts and spending.

Revenue and spending[edit]

History[edit]

Canada's federal debt grew steadily between 5% and 10% per year until 1975. For the next 12 years it grew on average over 20% per year. It surpassed $100 billion in 1981, $200 billion in 1985, $300 billion in 1988, $400 billion in 1992, and $500 billion in 1994. It peaked at $563 billion in 1997, before then declining to $458 billion by 2008.

With a recession, and an increase in federal spending from 2008, the federal debt grew by $5.8 billion in 2008–09. Large annual deficits from 2008 to 2013 has Canadian debt surpassing the $600 billion mark by November 2012, making it larger than the 1997 peak in absolute dollars (although far smaller in comparison to GDP). Starting in 2014, Canada returned to balanced budgets and has posted a small surplus.

End
of
Fiscal
Year
Net Debt
$Billions[2]

(Adjusted for
inflation, 2017[3])

as % of
GDP
GDP
$Billions[4]
1962 14.8 (121.4) 33.0% 44.9
1971 20.3 (126.1) 20.6% 98.4
1981 91.9 (240.2) 25.5% 360.5
1991 377.7 (592.0) 55.1% 685.4
1997 562.9 (811.1) 63.8% 882.7
2002 511.9 (664.2) 44.4% 1,152.9
2008 457.6 (515.3) 31.4% 1,453.6
2009 463.7 (495.1) 32.8% 1,413.3
2010 519.1 (579.5) 35.5% 1,458.8
2011 551.4 (599.19) 36.9% 1,495.7
2012 583.6 (626.4) 38.3% 1,576.8
2013 609.4 (645.5) [5] 37.4% 1,608.5
2014 611.9 (634.78) [6] 37.1% 1,649.2
2015 612.3 (627.21) [6] 31.0%
2016 616.0 (623.17) [7] 31.1%

Foreign ownership[edit]

In 1960, 4% of the Canadian government debt was held by foreign investors.[8]

From 2009-2010 to 2013-2014, the amount of the Canadian's debt held by foreign investors passed from 15% to 27% with a peak at 30% in 2012-2013. Even if growing, this level is still lower than most G7 countries in 2013-2014 (France, 64%, Germany, 62%, United States, 48%, Italy, 33%, United Kingdom, 29% and Japan, 8%).[9][10]

Public debt held by Canadian provinces[edit]

In fiscal year 2017-2018, the debt-to-GDP ratios of the provinces are projected to range from 7.1% for Alberta to 49.9% for Newfoundland & Labrador.[11]

Calculating and projecting the debt[edit]

In 2002–2003, Canada changed its calculation for net debt. Before this, net debt was defined as the total liabilities minus total assets; now it is the total liabilities minus financial assets, as the government prefers the concept of "accumulated deficit", which corresponds to the old definition of net debt.

Advocacy Groups[edit]

Generation Squeeze is a Canadian not-for-profit organization advocating for intergenerational equity.

See also[edit]

General:

International:

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NP 16 May 2013 "Beyond our means: Government debt tops $1.2-trillion and spending is still rising"
  2. ^ Canada's Debt History Archived 26 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Canadian Taxpayers Foundation
  3. ^ Inflation Calculator Bank of Canada
  4. ^ World Bank data
  5. ^ http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2014/report-rapport-eng.asp
  6. ^ a b http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2015/report-rapport-eng.asp
  7. ^ http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2016/report-rapport-eng.asp
  8. ^ Safaraian, A.E. The Hegemony of International Business, 1945–1970, Volume IV: Foreign Ownership of Canadian Industry. New York: Routledge, 1973. 12.
  9. ^ Department of Finance Canada, Debt Management Report 2011–2012, http://www.fin.gc.ca/dtman/2011-2012/dmr-rgd1201-eng.asp#Toc340732968
  10. ^ Department of Finance Canada, Debt Management Report 2013–2014, http://www.fin.gc.ca/dtman/2013-2014/dmr-rgd1401-eng.asp#toc12
  11. ^ "Canadian Federal and Provincial Fiscal Tables" (PDF). Economic Forecasts & Special Reports. Royal Bank of Canada. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 

External links[edit]