Ontario's net debt rises faster than rest of country

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

TORONTO -- Ontario's net debt has soared by 89% since 2007-08 -- a rate faster than that of the federal government or any other province, a new Fraser Institute report says.

The government of Ontario added $126.7 billion to the net debt over that relatively small time period, the report says.

"Quebec has the highest debt per person at $22,300, while Ontario has the second highest with $19,879 per person, followed closely by the federal government at $19,567 per person," the report says.

"The combined federal and provincial debt is $34,905 for every man, woman and child living in Canada."

Debt payments leave less money available for health care and education spending or tax relief, the report says.

Progressive Conservative finance critic Vic Fedeli said he and his caucus colleagues did not vote in favour of Premier Kathleen Wynne's budget -- neither when first introduced in the spring nor when brought back in the summer after the provincial election -- because they believe the spending level is unsustainable.

The Ontario deficit, which has been on the rise under Wynne and will hit $12.5 billion this year, is larger than the combined deficits of all other provinces and the federal government.

"We can expect, absolutely expect, from this government to see higher taxes and cuts that they didn't talk about (in the election)," Fedeli said.


Photos