March 2018

Federal “Market Debt” First Exceeded $1 Trillion Six Years Ago Under the Harper Government


The print and TV media recently picked up on a statement in the 2018 Budget that the federal government’s “market” debt would exceed $1 trillion.  They reported this as the tipping point for federal finances, as if the government had hit the proverbial “fiscal wall”.

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Fiscal Monitor for December 2017



Among the documents released on budget day was the Fiscal Monitor for December 2017. The federal government posted a budgetary surplus of $565 million in December 2017, compared to deficit of $1.3 billion in December 2016.

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Most economists who follow federal budgets probably didn’t think much of Mr. Morneau’s recent budget. In their view, there is too much new spending; spending on government operations is growing too fast; and, there is no commitment to deficit elimination.  They would probably give the budget a failing grade in judging its overall fiscal credibility. In a poll conducted the Forum Research Inc. 36% of the respondents said the budget was bad for the economy.

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