Let’s not scare Canadians. Canada’s debt to GDP ratio is manageable.

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-09-24 17:18 [p.91]

Mr. Speaker, to my hon. colleague and friend from Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, let me add my congratulations on his recent ascension within his party ranks.

I will pick up on something the member for Carleton said, which the member referenced in his speech. He was using statistics of deficit to GDP ratio. It is certainly much more common to use statistics, as I am sure the member will agree, of debt to GDP ratio, deficits being more temporary. As the parliamentary budget office has reported, when we look at World War II figures, the economy recovered quite quickly.

Let us look at debt to GDP ratio. We went into this pandemic at about 30% debt to GDP ratio, much better than any other country in the G7. It is predicted that we will be at about 38% by the end of this. In 1995, we had 66% debt to GDP ratio.

I do not want to scare Canadians into a kind of sticker shock, thinking that our kids are going to pay for this. That is not true. I think we need to actually look at the world. All the major economies in the world have their central banks doing the same thing.
I am going to stop there and ask my hon. colleague for a comment on whether we could reference history more precisely so as not to alarm people.

Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock)
2020-09-24 17:19 [p.92]

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands. I have a couple of things to say.

The current government has no plan to bring the books to balance. It has spending in perpetuity. It is going to go on forever. This is what happens when money continues to be printed, as the Bank of Canada has done in many cases, and the debt continues to be racked up, then the currency or the economy will be debauched, and probably both at the same time. If investors lose confidence and stop buying our debt, inflation will start to rise, and the Canadian dollar will drop. The Bank of Canada would then be forced to increase interest rates, and access to credit would shrink.

That is why Conservatives talk about balancing the budget, reigning in spending, controlling the costs of bureaucracy, and allowing services to be given to the people at a reasonable cost at the most effective measure. The most effective measure is allowing people more choice in their lives with more money in their pockets, and not funnelling their money to government, allowing it to go around in a cotton candy machine, going to the provinces, municipalities and to the end user, which is the taxpayer.