Worried about the federal debt? There is actually a lot more to fret about when looking at provincial and territorial public coffers. Red ink spilled by Ottawa used make up 62 per cent of government debt two decades ago–now it accounts for only about a third of the total, as provincial and territorial debt ballooned from 34 to 47 per cent. Even local governments have been adding a weighty bit to our overall public debt burden: Their share went up from two to eight per cent in 20 years. On the other hand, while the proportion of public debt tied to the CPP and QPP swelled up considerably between 1991 and 2001–from two to twenty per cent–it now accounts for a relatively contained 12 per cent of the total.
*Source: Statistics Canada.