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May 30

Does Canada Have a Debt Problem?

Toronto ON, 67 Yonge Street, Suite 300

In-Person Conference

Sponsored by:

Canada is facing important fiscal challenges – including mounting public debt, a persistent deficit bias, and the cost of higher interest rates. In light of these complexities, what sustainable policy reforms are required to ensure economic stability and uphold intergenerational fairness?

This important gathering offers an opportunity for experts to delve into Canada’s public debt issues and debate necessary reforms to ensure a sustainable fiscal future.

To register - please click here.
Member $199

Session I: Public Debt Sustainability & Economic Consequences

Key technical discussion questions:

  • How sustainable is the federal government's debt trajectory?
  • Can the federal debt be financed without raising tax rates or cutting spending to accommodate rising interest payments?
  • What are the economic costs of public debt? Is public debt a drag on business investment? 
  • Are policymakers adequately understanding these costs? 

Trevor Tombe, Professor of Economics, University of Calgary
Alexandre Laurin, Director of Research, C.D. Howe Institute

Lunch – The Brewing Crisis in Provincial Finances

Andrew Coyne, Columnist, The Globe and Mail

Session II: Reforming the Fiscal Framework 

Key technical discussion questions:

  • What system is in place to promote value for money in federal spending? 
  • Are changes to the expenditure management system required?
  • Governments have a clear bias in favour of debt financing. Can this bias be overcome by constraining policy flexibility with explicit fiscal rules? Or would the formulation of guiding principles for the conduct of fiscal policy be a sounder approach?

Yves Giroux, Parliamentary Budget Officer
John Lester, Fellow-in-Residence, C.D. Howe Institute

Session III: Choosing a Prudent and Fair Target for Our Public Debt

Key technical discussion questions:

  • What considerations go into setting a prudent and fair long-term target for government debt? What fiscal anchors could be considered?
  • What insights can Generational Accounts offer on how an aging population affects the target?
  • What are the implications for the target of rising spending on climate change mitigation measures?

Parisa Mahboubi, Senior Policy Analyst, C. D. Howe Institute
Christopher Ragan, Associate Professor & Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University

to ET

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