Scott Hennig picked a lousy day to educate people about Canada’s growing national debt.
Hennig said the message is so important he wasn’t going to be stopped by a winter storm that made driving tricky and closed Highway 3 just down the road in the Crowsnest Pass.
“We’re Albertans,” Hennig said matter-of-factly. “We’ve driven in worse.”
Hennig and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Debt Clock Tour rolled through Fort Macleod on Feb. 28 on its way to Calgary from Lethbridge.
The large aluminum clock, which measures six foot six high and 12 feet long, attracts considerable attention wherever it is set up.
Pulled behind a pickup on a customized trailer, the clock displays both the per second increase in public debt and the per person figure.
The National Debt Clock left Mile 0 of the TransCanada Highway in Victoria, B.C. on Feb. 22 on an 8,800-kilometre cross-country journey.
The clock is expected to arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia the last week of March.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has a simple message: the federal government is borrowing $124-million a day.
That same government is paying $87-million a day in interest.
Hennig, who is an Alberta director of the federation, said new borrowing by the federal government since 2008 will wipe out the $105-billion in debt repayment from 1998-2006.
The federation in its literature says Canada’s government debt is not better than the U.S. when the provinces’ debt is included.
The federation points out that in 1990, 38 cents of every federal tax dollar was used to pay the annual interest on federal debt.
That amount is 14 cents in 2011 after 11 years of federal government surpluses and debt reduction.
However, the federal government’s return in 2008 to deficit financing threatens the present position.
Hennig and the federation encourage people to take action by signing the balance budget petition at debtclocktour.ca.
Founded in 1990, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has 69,000 members across Canada. For information visit www.taxpayer.com.