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The trillion-dollar question is how federal spending will position the economy for post-pandemic success


It’s not easy to find, but on page 142 of the federal government’s fiscal and economic update, in a little shadowed box, there’s a number that will have a big impact on Canadians for generations to come: “Accumulated deficit: $1,423 billion (55.5 per cent of GDP).”

That is Canada’s estimated federal debt in 2024.

Of note, this number does not include the long runway of new commitments promised in the fiscal update. Factoring in that extra spending, it is reasonable to project that our federal debt could climb to $1.7 trillion in the next few years.

By then, the federal government will have effectively added 1,000 billion dollars – yes, that is what $1 trillion means – to Canada’s debt since the end of the 2019 fiscal year.

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