So some folks view we Canadians as careful saving folk, who are frugal and thrifty (well that let’s me out, since I can’t even follow my own advice). For those of you who think that, let me bring you a couple of examples of just how crazy spending in Canada can be:
The Big OWE in Montreal for those of you unaware of this nickname, it is for the Stade Olympique in Montreal where the ’76 Olympics were held and the Expos played in until last year (sob, sob). This behemoth created a DEBT (not the price of it, the DEBT) of OVER $1 Billion Canadian (back in the 70’s when the Canadian Dollar was worth something). This debt is only NOW (2005) being paid off (ok, hopefully next year).
The City of Montreal got left holding the bag for this HUGE debt. I grew up in Montreal and the corruption and graft that were involved in the building of that stadium was astounding even for Quebec standards!
- Skydome (now called Roger’s Centre, in memory of Roger Neilsen (no, not really, Rogers Communications, but what the hey)). One of the first stadiums with a retractable roof ended up costing over $600 Million dollars. The taxpayers weren’t on the hook as much for this, but the poor folks who invested in the companies, that helped build this Pink Elephant got hurt. Rogers Comm bought this for $24 Million in 2004 1/25 of the building cost! Someone lost their shirt there too!
- The net Canadian Federal government debt is $545 Billion dollars in Canada. This is the DEBT not the deficit (we at least aren’t growingtheDEBTright now). That is about 26% of all the moneys spent by our Federal Government. WOW! I thought I was crappy at living within my means. To be honest, it is not the current Government who got us into this mess, it was our free spending governments in the 70’s and 80’s, who really built up this BEHEMOTH of a debt.
- What is really scarey is that Canada is held up as a Shining Star in the G-8 world since we are actually paying off our debt, and not growing it. WOW!
- From what I can tell from the latest provincial budget the Province of Ontario’s DEBT (not the deficit folks, this is how much we owe, and yes it is GROWING) is about $130 BILLION dollars.
You know what is really scarey is how much work I had to do to find out how much Canada and Ontario both OWE. No one writes in plain English, we owe $XX Billion dollars anywhere, it is couched in weasel words and ratios. You ask most folks they know within a few thousand dollars how much they owe, if you asked your MPP or MP would they know how much Canada owes?