Statistics Canada reports that Canadian governments at all levels have run up a “historic deficit” of $ 325.5 billion.
The combined shortfall accumulated by federal, provincial and local governments was mainly due to measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and declining revenues.
The deficit of $ 325.5 billion covers the 2020 fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
“By comparison, the deficit was $ 40.7 billion in 2019, while the consolidated public finances were balanced in 2018,” Statistics Canada reported Monday, November 22.
For the base year 2020, the deficit was 14.8% of nominal gross domestic product.
This represents a significant jump from 2019, when the deficit was 1.8% of nominal GDP.
“The increase in spending (+ 30.7%), especially in health care and social protection, and, to a lesser extent, the drop in income (-1.9%) linked to the COVID pandemic- 19, simultaneously worsened the deficit, ”Statistics Canada reported.
In particular, the federal government accounted for the majority or $ 274.4 billion of Canada’s public administration deficit in 2020.
Meanwhile, the consolidated deficits of provincial, territorial and local governments amounted to $ 51.2 billion.
The report included current estimates of social supports, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Benefit.
Statistics Canada noted that “some governments have not finished tabulating their program spending and publishing their public accounts.”
“Although these measures have been taken into account in this press release, revisions are expected when final data becomes available,” the agency said.