P.E.I.'s financial position continues to decline

Teresa Wright
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Auditor General Jane MacAdam hold a copy of her 2016 annual report  which was released  Wedneswday.

Due to ongoing deficits, the province’s financial position continues to decline, says P.E.I. Auditor General Jane MacAdam.

As part of her annual report, the auditor general provides a report on the financial position of the province.

In the 2016 report released Wednesday, MacAdam notes P.E.I.’s net debt as of March 31, 2015, was $2.1 billion. This figure has increased by over 21 per cent over the last four years.

That translates to $14,573 for every man, woman and child living in P.E.I.

The biggest culprit for the increase is the government’s ongoing and accumulated deficits, amounting to a total of $231.7 million since 2011.

“There was a deficit for the year ended March 31, 2015 and an increase in the net debt… in terms of the financial position of the province, that’s a deterioration,” MacAdam said Wednesday.

“The net debt has been increasing for a number of years. When you incur deficits, you increase your net debt, and there have been many consecutive years of deficits.”


MacAdam noted long periods of time of incurring deficits and increasing debt has an impact on government’s sustainability when it comes to maintaining existing programs and services.

“Also it impacts your flexibility to respond to rising commitments,” she said.

Many of the financial indicators for the province’s finances were stable in 2015 compared to the year before, but the five-year trend for most of the sustainability indicators was unfavourable, MacAdam noted.

Sustainability indicators include net debt compared to GDP. This provides a measure of the financial demands placed on the economy by the province’s spending and taxation policies.

Over the last five years, P.E.I.’s net debt to GDP ratio reached its highest level in 2013, and has decreased over the last two years to 35.5 per cent. But it is still higher than it was in 2011.

There has also been an increase of $781 million in total liabilities since 2011, due mainly to increases in the province’s loans payable and in total liabilities.




Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • laurent Beaulieu
    March 17, 2016 - 22:05

    The financial position of PEI is no different from other provinces but it is certainly better than some. It would appear from the budget that the Government is doing all it can to take corrective measures. Calling for a Trump like response is silly and shows a lack of understanding of issues.

  • Concerned
    March 17, 2016 - 15:30

    Just reminding everyone our Premier is our Attorney General as well. Alot of what is going wrong in Government departments falls on his watch. Mr Premier had better come clean and clean these messess up very soon or he will go down with them. The Opposition and Mr Bevan Baker, had better come to this next session with their home work done. This Government is edging closer to a Public Inquiry every day.

  • don
    March 17, 2016 - 15:15

    well wade your close buddies ghiz and wes put us in this hole and the dumb voters allowed it twice so it would be nice if one of 3 things would happen. 1 the liberal voters payed the money they allowed to be donated to a few of them. 2 wade fix it so we are out of the hole the liberals put us in. 3 STOP righting off loans and making them rich..

  • Reap what you voted for!!
    March 17, 2016 - 14:53

    You voted for them!! Imagine: $231.7 million in deficits since 2011! Just wait until PM Selfie finishes his four year term!! I doubt that the Liberal Guardian will publish these comments!!!

  • Garth Staples
    March 17, 2016 - 13:42

    And the Liberal Govts remain in denial. Where is Trump when we need him?

    • AMAZED
      March 17, 2016 - 19:54

      "Where is Trump when we need him ?"... This sums you up perfectly Garth , a true conservative who wears his heart on his sleeve . God help us .

  • Quiet Observer
    March 17, 2016 - 13:40

    Yes, Wade, we will be positive and optimistic like you say ...... Try giving us a reason to be!

  • ACOA
    March 17, 2016 - 12:41

    I used to think that high positions in government were rewards. I no longer think that is the case. They are putting their loyal people on point to control the system, and in particular, the money. An executive assistant role with the Premier, and a B.A. from UPEI (likely mediocre), does not have the qualifications / is not the ideal person to be VP ACOA PEI at 31. Is anyone in government accountable for a financial decline? Is anyone measuring the success of government 'think tanks'? They don't have the skills to do it. They never have.

  • sentance
    March 17, 2016 - 10:35

    I'd suggest the direction our finances are going in is a bit more positive than the Auditor suggests. No, we aren't back to 2011 yet, but if you look at the analysis she provides there clearly was a turning point three years ago and most indicators are stable or steadily improving. The current fiscal year should add to the trend.

  • Fed up
    March 17, 2016 - 10:18

    Maybe our Premier should stop travelling with a whole army of his puppets....and stop spending money! If we ran our homes like these Liberals run the Province, we would lose our homes! They need to learn you can't keep spending without paying the debts they ran up!

  • Isn't That Something
    March 17, 2016 - 09:35

    Isn't that something , over 21% over last four years . Each person - even unborn owes $14,573 before they even take a breath . Man O man , we Islanders should be real proud of ourselves . I know I'm NOT

  • Here we go again
    March 17, 2016 - 06:58

    Here we go again release this news so they can justify a tax hike. Proper management with increased revenue from the hst and we should have a surplus each and every year. Slow the flow of cash to supporters!!! Thank Robert greedy GHiz for this position we are in folks $ 20,000,000 loan at 1 % comon!!! Wade throw him and Wes under the bus to save face and restore faith. Another tax increase on islanders that are taxed to the max will be the final nail in the coffin wade

  • Concerned Taxpayer
    March 17, 2016 - 06:44

    This is quite a different position on what Al Roach has been feeding us. Him and his balanced budget is not going to happen. This guy continually gives us mistruths and than go into session with a memory loss. The Premier is no better, he knows very well the condition Ghiz and Sheridan left, and he did not want to address the mess, now look how stupid they look. Time for a public demonstration and an Inquiry would be evan better. We are not hearing the truth on anything