November 23, 2011 - In today's Wall Street Journal, Paul Vieira quotes MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley in an article discussing the fiscal condition of Canada's 10 provinces. Crowley said, "We are in danger of squandering the great [fiscal] advances that Canada achieved precisely because we are not willing to confront the issues raised by the aging of the population, the rising cost of health care, and the unwillingness to reform the system."
The article emphasizes the current demands on provincial governments such as education, social services and health care. Health care, for instance, consumes nearly 40% of provincial budgets and "provincial spending on health care has grown at an average of 6.9% a year over the last decade, far exceeding revenue growth". As MLI author Christopher Ragan said, "Given the magnitude of the problem, governments will either act proactively and methodically now, or reactively, in crisis later." Ragan is author of MLI's recently released study, Canada's Looming Fiscal Squeeze, which discusses the fiscal challenges faced by future Canadian governments. (Click here to read the media release for the study).