Ottawa is a very busy place this week with many different topics dominating media stories.
The ongoing inquiry into the invoking of the Emergency Act continues and many surprising details are being revealed to the public.
This will be a topic for a future report.
Also occurring this week is a request to the Speaker from the NDP asking for an emergency debate in the House of Commons over the Province of Ontario's pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to impose a contract on CUPE workers in the Ontario public educations system.
As this is a Provincial matter, it is unknown at this point if the Speaker will agree to a request for this emergency debate.
Somewhat overlooked in many media reports this week was the Bank of Canada coming out and stating that they have “not ruled out another oversized interest rate hike to fight sky-high inflation”.
With many families seriously struggling to pay increased interest on debt in mortgages, lines of credits and elsewhere, these comments will be of very serious concern.
However, it is not just individual households that will be seriously impacted by a further increase in interest on debt.
As many will know, for every year since being elected, the Trudeau Liberal Government has deliberately run deficit budgets that have significantly increased Canada’s debt.
For those who have been following closely, they will know the Trudeau Liberal government has consistently defended their deficit budgets by stating this spending is “affordable due to low interest rates”
Back in my criticism of the Liberal budget early last year, I warned about rising interest will mean rising payments on that debt, a term known as “debt servicing”.
In fact, I pointed out that the interest that we paid on our public debt for 2020/21 was $20.4 billion.
I also pointed out that by 2026/27 these debt servicing costs were forecast to rise to $40.9 Billion.
For context I gave the example that the Canada Health Transfer that was $45.9 Billion (at the time) was forecast to rise to $55.2 billion in 2026/27.
I did this to raise the issue that over the next five years the cost to service our debt is doubling and increasing at a rate faster than our health transfers are increasing.
I viewed this as a very serious concern and many local citizens agreed.
Flash forward to this week and Desjardins (from Quebec) has forecast that Canada’s debt servicing costs will hit $49.8 billion next year.
To put $49.8 billion in debt servicing charges into perspective, the total of the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) for 2022/23 is expected to rise to $45.2 Billion.
In other words, the situation that I was worried about has now occurred over a much shorter period.
With Canada’s debt servicing now forecast to see us spending more money on debt servicing than we are spending in funding the entire Canada health transfer to the Provinces and Territories, here is my question for you this week:
What actions would you like to see from the Federal Government in response to this situation?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.