Twenty-four facts for 2024 that reflect Trudeau’s Canada

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Canada is in a sorry state after eight-and-a-half years of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Pictured: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo Credit: Justin Trudeau/X.

Here are 24 facts for 2024 that reflect the state of the country, that is Canada after eight-and-a-half years of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.

1. Trillion-Plus Dollar National Debt: In 2015 the national debt was $616 billion and today it is more than $1.2 trillion. The Trudeau government has accumulated more debt than all previous federal governments combined, leaving future generations of Canadians to pick up their tab.

2. No Fiscal Restraint: There have been nine consecutive deficit budgets – including the largest annual deficit recorded in the country’s history with the Trudeau government. Liberal finance ministers Bill Morneau’s and Chrystia Freeland’s record is pockmarked with unbridled spending on bureaucracy, and new and expanding government programs. Annual spending has ballooned 75 per cent and the national debt ceiling has had to be raised twice since 2015.

3. Increased Interest Payments: Interest charges on the national debt are now the fastest growing line item in the federal budget. Canadians now spend more per year ($54.1 billion) on interest payments than on the federal health care transfers to the provinces ($52.1 billion). The dollars spent on interest is money not available for government programs and services from health care to national defence – to paying down the Trudeau government’s debt.

4. Unchecked Fiscal Management: By delaying the tabling of main estimates and introducing increasingly complex budget omnibus bills, the Liberal government has undermined parliament’s longstanding process of validating government expenditures. On this point, Freeland’s 2024 Budget is a 686-page piece of legislation that amends 48 separate Acts of Parliament. The budget bill was tabled last week, and the government has indicated it will invoke closure to ensure the budget will be passed by the end of the month.

5. Enlarged Bureaucracy: Taxpayers are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on Ottawa’s operational costs of bureaucracy (not including pension and perks). The civil service has swelled from 257,000 in 2015 to 357,000 bureaucrats today, which is the greatest number in Canadian history. Remarkably, during the two years of the pandemic and COVID lockdowns, the Ottawa bureaucracy actually grew by 12 per cent. The federal government is the single largest employer in the country.

6. Expensive Government: This month, after a dozen years, the most expensive infrastructure project in Canadian history, the Trans Mountain pipeline, was completed at a cost of $34 billion – almost triple its estimated cost. In 2018, the Trudeau government bought it at a cost of $4.5 billion and spent nearly $30 billion in under six years!

7. Wasteful Government: In 2021, the Trudeau government signed $5 billion in contracts for vaccines with seven manufacturers at undisclosed prices. November 2023, a total 52.9 million doses were thrown away. At $30 per dose, the cost of the wasted vaccines to taxpayers is $1.59 billion. Government contracts run through 2024 and there are 90.8 million vaccine doses to be delivered by Pfizer Canada, Novovax and Moderna by the end of the year.

8. Unrealistic Government: The Trudeau government has announced programs to build 3.87 million houses by 2031. This plan would have 827,000 houses built per year, approximately one home per minute, starting now. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported housing starts were down seven per cent last year and has projected a further decline this year. Stats Can reports that since 2015 there has been only 225,104 houses built per year.

9. High Taxes: Canadians pay 46.1 per cent of their income to taxes – more than is spent on the necessities of housing, food and clothing. The Fraser Institute factors Canadian tax bills are the fastest growing expenditure in a household budget. And the middle-class Canadian pays dearly. Canadian families with modest incomes ($30,000-$60,000) have marginal effective tax rates at or above 50 percent. Quebec families pay 67 per cent and Ontario families pay 50 per cent.

10. Tax and Spend (on Interest Payments): The Trudeau federal government collects as much in GST annually ($54.1 billion) as it pays in interest payments ($54.1 billion).

11. Mortgagers’ Anxiety: Two of three (65 per cent) Canadians holding mortgages today are having difficulties paying them, and more than half of these struggling Canadians are sinking further into debt by having to use their savings to meet their monthly payments. There are presently 6.08 million homeowners who must renegotiate their mortgages in 2024 and 2025 at the higher interest rates of four to five per cent — reports the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

12. Renters’ Anxiety: Two of three Canadians renters are having difficulties paying their monthly rent and 59 per cent of Canadian renters are using their savings to pay their monthly rent (FCAC).

13 Increased Poverty: In 2015, 8.5 per cent of households were below the poverty-line income and this has increased today to 14.5 per cent. Statistics Canada has set the official household poverty line to meet the basics of life today at $50,593, up from $37,542 when Trudeau took office.
14. More Exiting Canada: A recent McGill Institute for the Study of Canada report finds an increasing number of new immigrants are giving up on Canada. Onward migration – people who leave Canada after immigrating here – has jumped 31 per cent between 2017 and 2019. On another note, Statistics Canada reports roughly four million citizens were living abroad in 2016, about one Canadian citizen out of nine.

The 24 facts will be continued next week…

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