Fraser Institute highlights growing debt across the country

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — A new study concludes interest payments on debt, piled up by all three levels of Canadian government, continue to be a major problem.

The Fraser Institute study found, at the expense of other budget priorities, federal, provincial and local governments spent $60.8 billion on debt interest payments in the 2014-15 fiscal.

That was nearly equal the $62.2 billion in the latest year of available data, spent on kindergarten to grade twelve education.

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In addition, according to the Institute’s associate director of provincial prosperity, Ben Eisen, it’s anticipated the risk associated with rising interest rates is also about to rise.

Citing 2015-16 numbers, the study puts Ontario at the top of the provincial list with a debit interest payment total of $11.3 billion, $1 billion more than second place Quebec’s total, which is four times more than that of third place B-C at $2.5 billion.

All the other provincial totals are under $1 billion but the payments for Newfoundland/Labrador, at $888 million, the fourth highest provincial total, are also the highest percentage of provincial revenue at 12.7 per cent.

Quebec is the only other province in double digits on that chart, at 10.3 per cent, with BC at 5.4, trailing only Saskatchewan and Alberta at 3.7 and 1.8 per cent respectively.

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