Wednesday, December 23, 2009


How big is the government surplus/deficit?

Depending on where you get your news, it could be a deficit of $512 million, $602 million, $592 million, almost $600 million or a surplus of $221 million.

So who has got it right?

Well, everyone. It just depends on how you count it.

$512 is the core operating deficit and counts the $110 draw from the rainy day fund + the $20 million for debt retirement

$602 is also the core operating deficit but does not take in account the draw and debt retirement

$592 is the summary deficit which includes the bottom line of core government operations and crown corporations

$221 is the positive balance based on the four-year rolling average of summary results under the new balanced budget legislation

Now, how is the average citizen supposed to understand all this?


  1. Q: How is the average citizen supposed to understand all this?

    A: by reading Never Eat Yellow Snow! Good summary.

    I would prefer that the media use the 602 number, as that's the truest measure of the government's fiscal performance IMO.

  2. You can't be funding every major project in Winnipeg and manitoba without running a deficit.

    Unless, the oil taps keep flowing in Calgary and we keep sucking at their nipples for cash.