Canada’s national debt has topped $1 trillion for the first time in the country’s history.
This number is so large it is difficult for most of us to comprehend. If this amount were divided equally among Canada’s population of 38 million, it would work out to around $26,316 per person.
This number appears even larger when compared with Canada’s annual gross domestic product of around $2 trillion. The gross domestic product, the total of all goods and services produced in Canada, is used as an economic indicator.
Canada’s $1 trillion national debt is significant and it is expected to keep growing.
The deficit for this year is projected to be $155 billion. For 2022 to 2023, the deficit is forecast at $60 billion.
A large reason for the growing debt is the COVID-19 relief and assistance programs provided by the federal government.
In March 2020, the federal government introduced aid programs to assist those who had been affected by the global pandemic. These programs helped workers who had been laid off and businesses struggling with a sudden downturn in the economy.
The assistance programs were rolled out quickly and they allowed Canadian workers and businesses to apply for the money easily.
During the early months of the pandemic, changes were made to address the needs of those who were not covered by the initial assistance packages.
While some may see the assistance programs as a way of tossing money at a problem, the question to be asked is what Canada should have done differently to address the financial impact of the pandemic? Our government is responsible for taking care of its citizens. Doing nothing was not an option.
Without the quick rollout of the federal assistance programs at the start of the pandemic, life would have been much more difficult for millions of Canadians.
However, funding is never free. Debts must be repaid and there are costs involved in debt servicing and repayment.
The implications of Canada’s debt load will affect the country and its financial policies for a long time to come.
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