SOURCE: The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

March 08, 2016 05:30 ET

Fraser Institute News Release: Ontario Has Accumulated More Debt Than All Other Provinces Combined Since 2003

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 08, 2016) -  The Ontario government has added $160 billion in net debt since 2003/04 while the rest of the nine provinces combined added a total of $126 billion, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"While the Ontario government continues to forecast a balanced operating budget by 2017/18, getting through the smoke and mirrors of the latest budget reveals there is no end in sight to the growth in Ontario's government debt. In fact, Ontario's provincial debt is expected to increase by billions of dollars each year for the foreseeable future," said Ben Eisen, associate director of the Fraser Institute's Ontario Prosperity Initiative and co-author of Debt Accumulation in Ontario Compared to Other Provinces.

"The rapid run-up in government debt in Ontario has created a significant burden that is being passed to the next generation."

The study also examines per-person government debt which further highlights that Ontario's debt burden is worsening relative to the other provinces.

For example, Ontario's per-person debt has nearly doubled over the past twelve years. Every Ontarian now owes approximately $21,600 in provincial government debt -- compared to approximately $11,300 in 2003. Since 2003 Ontario's net debt began to increase substantially, after a period during the late 1990s and early 2000s in which it had been gradually falling.

"Given how much debt Ontario has accumulated in recent years, it is troubling that the province plans to add more debt in the years ahead," Eisen said.

As a result, government forecasts project that Ontario's net debt per person will actually become larger than Quebec's, currently the most indebted province in Canada, within two years.

"Quebec has long had a reputation within Canada for fiscal mismanagement. But Quebec has finally turned a corner, balancing its budget and reining in debt while Ontario continues in the opposite direction," Eisen said.

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org

Contact Information

  • MEDIA CONTACT:
    For interviews with Mr. Eisen please contact:
    Aanand Radia
    Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
    (416) 363-6575 ext. 238
    aanand.radia@fraserinstitute.org
    @FraserInstitute