Trudeau government has spent most money per person per year in Canadian history

Trudeau government has spent most money per person per year in Canadian history

The Liberal government is on track to log the five highest years of per-person spending in Canadian history, according to a new report.

Between 2018 and 2022, the report says, the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau has spent from $10,422 per person in 2018, to a peak of $19,208 in 2020 and is projected to fall to $11,498 per Canadian in 2022-23. This would be below the 2021 figure ($13,571) but still five per cent higher than 2019, which was the highest pre-COVID spending year in Canadian history.

In Trudeau’s time as prime minister, he has also overseen the second largest annual increases in per-person spending (6.8 per cent) since the Second World War, trailing only Louis St. Laurent, who was prime minister between 1949 and 1956. That said, the report notes, his government has had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, which accounts for some of this increase.
In 2020-21, the federal government spent $19,208 per Canadian — by far the largest amount in Canadian history. The next priciest year was 2021-22, at $13,571. Even if COVID-related spending is excluded from the analysis, the report concludes they are “still the two highest per-person spending years in Canadian history.”

Only five prime ministers have overseen, on average, decreases in spending. Alexander Mackenzie, Arthur Meighen, Joe Clark, and Chrétien and Mulroney.

Ultimately, the consequences of higher spending, as we’ve seen in recent years, is leading to higher deficits. That means there’s higher debt and growing interest payments that have to be paid by taxpayers‌.

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