It is amazing what oil will do for a country’s foreign debt to GDP ratio. Russia has just made the largest single payment ever made by any nation to the Paris Club: a whopping 22.5 billion dollar (US) payment to be more exact. Foreign debt now is 9 percent of total debt to GDP.
It is a pity Canada does not have oil. Imagine how quickly we could reduce our national debt if we did. Unfortunately Alberta has the oil and constitutionally speaking it is all theirs. Indeed it is the Democratic Republic of Alberta (DRA) and the Oil companies that are swimming in the cash while the rest of us are taking a bath. Manufacturing is reeling under the weight of increased energy costs and a high dollar (which is itself partly the result of high energy prices).
There was a time when this would not have been an issue. A time when the state was allowed to own productive assets and not just laggard liabilities. Imagine if the Feds still owned Petro-Canada or more boldly controlled a third of oil production why we would be swimming in cash instead of drowning in energy related debt. Yes friends given the timidity of the liberals and their general march to the right over a decade and a half we have a federal government whose only capacity to raise cash is through increased tax receipts (either through growth or increased tax rates) or via the sale of more public assets.