Nearly half of Canadians are an unexpected car repair or dental emergency away from not being able to meet their monthly financial obligations, a new report reveals.

An Ipsos study commissioned by accounting firm MNP found that 48 per cent of people in the country are $200 or less away from financial insolvency each month. This is a marked increase of eight per cent since a similar study last October.

Over a quarter of Canadians–26 per cent–have no money left at the end of each month after paying their bills, the report found.

When broken down regionally, Atlantic Canadians are at the highest risk of insolvency, with 55 per cent claiming to be at risk. This is a shocking 10 point increase compared to the last survey, in January.

Quebec residents come a close second, at 51 per cent (up five points) at risk, followed by Ontarians at 48 per cent (two point increase) at risk.

Canadians are among the most indebted on earth, with two-thirds of the population in debt.

“This isn’t simply a matter of people living beyond their means,” said MNP President Grant Bazian.

“The reality is that too many households simply can’t make ends meet, no matter how they try.”

Even in the last Ipsos survey on the topic in January, where the situation was less severe, 45 per cent of those surveyed said they will have to go into more debt to provide for themselves and their families.

As the government adds a carbon tax to Canadians’ bills, increasing the deficit with no plan to balance the budget and allowing Canada’s crucial energy sector to suffer, it’s unlikely that Canada’s debt situation will get any better anytime soon.

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