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Saddled with debt

Dear editor,

I read with interest your article, “Conservative Candidate talks Federal Election,” by Sam Odrowski in the May 29. 2019 edition of the Fort Frances Times.

I felt the need to respond to the suggestion by the Conservative candidate, Linda Rydholm that the Harper/Scheer government was on the correct financial path.

It fascinates me how many Conservatives are only worried about the debt and deficits when someone else is in office.

Let's revisit the actual history of the debt and deficits:

Mr. Mulroney and his Conservative government had eight budgets from 1984 to 1991 with an average deficit of $31.8 billion—for a total of $254.4 billion to the federal debt

Mr. Chrétien's first five budgets added $113.8 billion to the debt and then the combination of Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Martin (1996 to 2005) had 10 successive budgets in surplus totaling a surplus of $99 billion

Mr. Harper and Mr. Scheer came along in 2006 to form the government. They had two surplus budgets—their first year and their last year (2006 and 2014).

The years in between were all deficits. Mr. Harper and Mr. Scheer added another $146.7 billion to our debt from 2007 to 2013.

Let's do the math for those Conservative years—including the two surpluses. The combination of Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Harper added $382.4 billion to the national debt of Canada.

That debt has never been paid—and we accrue interest each and every year since it was first added to the debt.

Even at a modest interest rate of three percent, the combined annual interest payment the federal government must make every single year is $11.5 billion.

Remember then, the first $11.5 Billion of any future deficit goes to just to pay the three percent interest on the debt that Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Harper saddled us with.

Sincerely,

Jim Gilbert

Thunder Bay, Ont.

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