Canada’s federal government will spend billions of dollars on new programmes, according to the latest budget presented by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. While it has not yet committed to a balanced budget, the government will spend CAD 151bn ($121bn) more in the coming year than it did in the 2014-15 fiscal year. During Trudeau’s time in government, federal public service employment has risen by 31%, adding nearly 80,000 employees to the government’s roster. Program expenses as a share of the economy have risen by more than 3% in the past six years and are now the highest they have been in three decades. Sahir Khan, executive vice-president of the uOttawa Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, said he believes Canada’s spending is sustainable as long as the economy continues to grow. Public debt charges will cost nearly CAD 44bn next year, while federal debt has increased to $1.2tn from $612.3bn when Trudeau became prime minister. Interest charges are expected to reach $50bn in 2027, though they will be lower as a percentage of GDP than in the 1990s.

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