The federal government is expected to report a new spending record in its next fiscal statement, according to a new study.
The Fraser Institute study released on Thursday wrote the Trudeau government is expected to report spending of 5% more than the highest non-COVID year in history, seen in the fiscal year of 2019.
“[Spending in recent years] will significantly exceed levels previously experienced in times of crisis, such as war and deep recession,” wrote fiscal researcher Jake Fuss.
Fuss said the government is on-track to report a spending level of roughly $11,500 per person in Canada.
Canada’s population was just under 37,000,000 in the 2021 Census.
While the Trudeau government is decreasing its costs compared to pandemic years, Fuss said the costs are still higher than any other time in Canadian history – with inflation accounted for.
Government spending for the 2022-2023 year will be roughly 29% higher, Fuss said, than former prime minister William Mackenzie King spent during the peak of the second World War.
Fuss compared historical costs using a ratio of “spending per-person,” which aims to give a contextual picture of government spending at any point in time.
The news comes a month after Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government plans to curtail spending.
In a press conference in February, Freeland said inflation is top of mind.
“We know that one of the most important things the federal government can do to help Canadians today is […] not to pour fuel on the fire of inflation,” said Freeland.
At the time, a public opinion poll showed seven-in-ten Canadians worried the government was neglecting the rising cost of living in Canada.