Debt is our biggest threat

Re. L. Busch’s letter Canada is not so bad (Castanet, May 23)

L. Busch writes to tell us Canada is not so bad, stating "our deficit is high but compared to other G7 countries, we are number 11 out of 29. The IMF reported in 2021, that Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio was 32% and our country had the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio."

I'm not sure how we are "11 out of 29" when the G7 only has seven nations. We have the fourth highest level of gross public debt in the G7 as a percentage of GDP and among the G20 nations our government debt to GDP ratio is the fifth worst, lagging only behind nations such as Italy, a southern EU zone economic basket case, and Japan, a nation that has various demographic challenges to contend with, such as ageing, low birth rate and barriers to population growth via very little immigration.

But why should we care about debt? Busch seems to think everything is fine and dandy, and I'm sure many agree, or simply don't care.

The problem is debt servicing. Federal fiscal policy drains down to household-level consumer problems. Governments either absorb debt on behalf of populations and figure it out going forward, or they run tight ships, let consumers load debt up themselves, then allow those consumers to back off, tighten wallets and control inflation themselves through behaviours. I recall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stating in April 2020 that the government would take on debt so that Canadians wouldn't have to.

Roll forward to May 2023 and we have a two-tiered duality of fiscal problems. Such eminent sources as the BBC tell us that as of 2021, Canada's household debt is seven higher than the country's entire GDP.

You're going to have to read that fact again to let it truly sink it. Simply chatting with people and sharing concerns about the economy will break out into personal stories of financial hardship— the vacation that had to be cancelled, the camping trip back home that was deferred to next year, maybe, the extra $1,000 per month on the mortgage renewal.

That is the reality of Trudeau's Canada in 2023. The debt-to-GDP ratio isn't being reduced and the household debt-to-GDP ratio isn't being reduced.

The problem with liberal thinking is that on the surface, things are sold to the public as being fine and dandy, almost rosy. But, as you dig under the skin, you expose liberal “bad think” for what it is—the delusional covering up of facts, reality and problems. Add a dose of self denial into the mix.

One of the greatest threats Canadians face is fiscal irresponsibility by their elected governments and the effect it has on their everyday lives, their ability to grow and thrive, and general sense of happiness and wellbeing.

I am genuinely concerned as many others are about the current and future state of this now-collapsing great nation, and I rank financial challenges and decision making at the federal level as the single biggest threat we face.

A poll from April 2023 shows just 27 per cent trust Trudeau the most among Canada’s political leaders to support economic growth. So maybe more Canadians are starting to accept reality.

Money certainly isn't everything, but if it's not handled properly, it can make your life a misery. We are now seeing that play out.

Ricky Daytona, West Kelowna

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