Projected federal debt reaches new historic high of $562.9 billion

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) marked a milestone in Canada’s debt history last week, holding a major stop on its National Debt Clock Tour in front of Parliament Hill.

At 11 minutes and 25 seconds after midnight on March 18, the group’s Debt Clock rolled over the $562,881,000,000 mark – the previous record set in 1997. At that time, the government will have re-borrowed the $105-billion in debt that was paid down between 1997 and 2008 according to its current projections.

Since the Debt Clock was banned from Parliament Hill, the group held its event in front of the Peace Tower.

“Every party in parliament is responsible for the Debt Clock spinning out of control,” said CTF national research director and acting federal director Derek Fildebrandt.

“Every national party leader promised balanced budgets during the last election. Yet when the opposition parties demanded deficit budgets, the government gleefully obliged. The result is that every dollar of debt paid down between 1997 and 2008 has been wiped-out after only a few short years of reckless spending.”

The national Debt Clock tour left Victoria, on Feb. 22 and is scheduled to conclude in Halifax, by the end of the month.

“On the coast-to-coast national Debt Clock tour, we have a straight-forward message of fiscal restraint for our politicians: cut spending, balance the budget, and stop this clock.”

Meant to serve as a visual medium for Canadians to understand the 12-figure magnitude of the debt, Fildebrandt said, “The Debt Clock shows in real time that based on current Finance Canada projections, we are borrowing $124.4-million a day, or $1,439.62 a second that we do not have. The last time that the federal government ran ‘temporary’ deficits, they lasted for 27 consecutive years. It is a legacy that we are still paying for today,” concluded Fildebrandt.

The CTF restored the original 12- by 6-foot Debt Clock that it toured across Canada between 1993 and 1997.