Atlantic Canada is experiencing fiscal challenges, with limited revenues and high spending by provincial governments.
Unfortunately, many critics believe that minor spending cuts amount to austerity measures. This is false. European countries like Greece and Portugal have experienced real austerity, cutting their budgets by 25 percent after the Great Recession.
Every Atlantic province has ballooned spending over the last generation. P.E.I. spends 60 percent more per resident than it did in 1980. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick spend about 90 percent more. Newfoundland and Labrador spends an astonishing 114 percent more.
This trajectory is unsustainable. To secure the region’s future, governments need to control their spending habits.