According to a Fraser Institute news release, almost $800 billion of direct debt is compounded by another $1.3 trillion in programs the government has committed itself to. At $75,942 debt per citizen, Canada is 13th out of 20 high income nations of the world.
VANCOUVER, BC— Each Canadian taxpayer owes $150,211 in federal, provincial, and local liabilities, according to a new study released today by independent research organization the Fraser Institute.
The study, Canadian Government Debt 2008, shows that federal, provincial, and local governments have accumulated $791.2 billion in direct debt and more than $2.4 trillion in total government liabilities. Total liabilities include direct debt and programs that the government has committed to provide such as Old Age Security and Medicare (Canada’s public health care system).
Although net direct debt (liabilities minus assets) of all three levels of government fell from $800.4 billion to $791.2 billion between 2000/2001 and 2004/2005, this is a small drop compared to the growth of Canada’s debt since 1990/1991 when our net debt stood at $533 billion, said Niels Veldhuis, Fraser Institute director of fiscal studies and co-author of the study.