Canada’s Federal Debt Data from Statscan

Canadian Federal DebtSource: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 385-0010.

Excel spreadsheet available here: federal-debt.xlsx

This data shows the Canadian Federal Government debt. Note that from 1938 – 1974 we borrowed from the Bank of Canada interest free. Following Basel Committee guidelines enacted in 1974, we stopped borrowing from our own public bank and instead began to borrow from private banks at interest. The effects of those compounding interest payments can clearly be seen as the debt began to balloon shortly after 1974. Data is not tracked in this Cansim table past 2008 as the Harper government cut funding which resulted in a change in how debt is tracked. Data here was normalized to 2002 dollars.

As part of the Bank of Canada Act,

18. The Bank may
(j) make loans to the Government of Canada or the government of any province, but such loans outstanding at any one time shall not, in the case of the Government of Canada, exceed one-third of the estimated revenue of the Government of Canada for its fiscal year, and shall not, in the case of a provincial government, exceed one-fourth of that government’s estimated revenue for its fiscal year, and such loans shall be repaid before the end of the first quarter after the end of the fiscal year of the government that has contracted the loan;

More information on this topic is readily available online. A great place to start is this video:

Additionally, a lawsuit is being brought to the Supreme Court by Rocco Gallati with the intent of reinstating the government’s use of interest-free loans from the BoC as is mandated in the Bank of Canada Act.


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