Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Fraser Institute: Quebec Carries Largest Debt Load in Canada, Forcing Taxpayers to Pay Billions in Interest Payments

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwired) -- 03/11/14 -- Quebec has the largest government debt relative to the size of its economy of any Canadian province, and a series of essays released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank, breaks down how Quebec got to this point and where it might go from here.

Quebec's net direct debt (the accumulated borrowing by the government and its agencies), notes the first essay The State of Quebec Indebtedness, grew in nominal terms (without adjusting for inflation) from $37.6 billion in 1990-91 to $175.5 billion in 2012-13, and now represents 49 per cent of Quebec's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)-the highest percentage among the provinces. On a per person basis, each Quebecer's share of the debt in 2012/13 was $21,708 or, based on 2011/12 tax data, $43,804 per income taxpayer. Furthermore, interest payments on the debt (also known as debt service costs) were $9.8 billion in 2012-13, more than 11 per cent of government revenue.

"During this provincial election, it's worth noting that both Parti Quebecois and Liberal governments have contributed to the debt since the early 1990s. The failure of successive Quebec governments to control spending has added significantly to the province's debt load and today saddles Quebec taxpayers with more than $9 billion in interest payments. That's money unavailable for health care, education or other social services," said Filip Palda, Fraser Institute senior fellow and professor at the Ecole nationale d'administration publique.

The second essay, Comparing the Indebtedness of Quebec and Its Neighbours, compares Quebec to jurisdictions in the United States and Canada including Ontario, which has a lower debt as a share of GDP (37.5 per cent) than Quebec (49 per cent).

"Although Ontario's debt receives considerably more media and political attention, Quebec's indebtedness is the most significant among Canada's provinces," said Sean Speer, essay series editor and associate director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute.

The essay compares Quebec with 24 U.S. states by measuring bonded debt (the part of government indebtedness represented by bonds).

Quebec's bonded debt for 2011 (the last year data was available) was $160.8 billion, which represents roughly 47 per cent of the province's GDP, for a debt-to-GDP ratio two and a half times higher than most indebted U.S. states. Vermont comes closest, with a bonded debt-to-GDP ratio of 17.1 per cent. New York's bonded debt (the highest in dollar terms among U.S. states) represents 12.3 per cent of that state's GDP. Quebec's 47 per cent debt-to-GDP ratio, by comparison, is almost four times higher.

"Comparisons with other North American jurisdictions including New York, a state known for its debt issues, might prompt Quebecers to insist that their government take action to curb its debt problem," Speer said.

The final essay, The Past and Future of Quebec's Public Debt, notes that Quebec's net debt may reach more than 57 per cent of GDP by 2022-23 if the status quo, which includes current market conditions and patterns of taxation and spending, is maintained.

"Quebecers deserve a robust public debate about Quebec's debt and any potential government reforms, because ultimately government debt rests on the backs of taxpayers-they're the ones that pay," Palda said.

Follow the Fraser Institute on Twitter / Become a fan on Facebook

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Contacts:
Sean Speer
Associate Director, Fiscal Studies, Fraser Institute
(604) 688-0221 ext. 532
[email protected]
@SeanSpeerFI

Filip Palda
Professor, ENAP
Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute
(514) 312-3704
[email protected]

Mark Hasiuk
Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
(604) 688-0221 ext. 517
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
"There is a huge interest in Kubernetes. People are now starting to use Kubernetes and implement it," stated Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walked through how Octob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...