Four years after Justin Trudeau claimed that “the budget will balance itself,” a new report shows that his government increased debt at a higher per-person rate than any Prime Minister outside of wartime or recession.
The report, Examining Federal Debt in Canada by Prime Minister Since Confederation, breaks down the percentage at which the 23 Prime Ministers increased or decreased the federal debt.
Under Justin Trudeau, Canada’s per person debt has grown by 5.6%, bringing it to $32,589.
The last Prime Minister to increase the federal debt in a time without war or recession was Mackenzie Bowell in 1895.
Out of the eight Prime Ministers who did not have to deal with wars or recessions, five of them decreased the national debt. Only Trudeau, Bowell, and Abbott (1891) increased it.
Trudeau contrasts heavily with the last Liberal Prime Minister, Paul Martin, who decreased the federal debt 7.6% in similar economic conditions.
With ever increasing deficits and no balanced budget in sight, the Trudeau government’s behaviour indicates that the debt will only grow more.
The deficit for the current financial year is expected to be $18.1 billion, under current projections, the federal debt will increase by $100 billion in the next five years.
This report comes after another report in January revealed that Justin Trudeau will be among the highest spending Prime Ministers ever.
The report by the Fraser Institute detailed how Trudeau has been increasing spending by an average of 3.1% per year, the highest of any government since Trudeau senior over 35 years ago.
This makes 2019 the costliest year, second only to 2008 — during an economic crisis.