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Poilievre New Documentary Warns of $10 Trillion Debt Crisis


Pierre Poilievre is upending political communication in Canada with his innovative use of long-form documentary videos to drive the national conversation.

Poilievre has garnered massive viewership for films diagnosing the housing crisis and ballooning national debt under Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. 

His latest exposé, “Debtonation: Canada’s $10 Trillion Problem”, delivers a sobering portrait of a country staggering under over $10 trillion in household, corporate, and government liabilities. 

Narrated by Poilievre himself, the film warns this debt mountain could trigger economic “debtonation” should interest rates rise from historic lows. 

Though Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland aims to downplay the threat, Poilievre’s documented analysis and use of clear historical precedents have ignited a much-needed discussion about Canada’s fiscal challenges – one the Liberals seem unprepared to have.

Pierre Poilievre has found an innovative new way to spread his political message and critique the governing Liberal party. As the new leader of the Conservative party, Poilievre has been releasing lengthy documentary-style videos on issues like housing affordability and the growing national debt. 

His films aim to educate Canadians about these important topics while also leveling harsh criticism against Justin Trudeau and the economic policies of the Liberal government.

Poilievre’s latest documentary, titled “Debtonation: Canada’s $10 Trillion Problem”, focuses on the immense debt that has accumulated under the Trudeau administration. Running over 15 minutes, the film paints a grim picture of the country being burdened by over $10 trillion in total debt between household, corporate, and government levels. 

Narrated by Poilievre himself, it warns viewers that this ballooning debt poses a serious threat to Canada’s economic stability and could trigger a catastrophic “debt crisis” if interest rates rise from historic lows.

Poilievre’s previous film on housing affordability was viewed nearly half a million times on YouTube alone in just a few short weeks. 

This growing viewership shows that Canadians are receptive to getting in-depth explanations of complex issues directly from political leaders. It also forces other parties to up their game and match the level of effort that Poilievre is putting into substantive policy videos.

In this new documentary, Poilievre carefully avoids predicting the precise timing of an economic crisis while still emphasizing its growing likelihood. He states that if Canada’s total debt load surpasses 3.5 times the size of the national GDP when global interest rates eventually rise back to their long-term historical average, then over a quarter of Canada’s entire economic output would be required just to pay yearly interest costs on the accumulated liabilities. 

Such a staggering debt servicing burden, according to Poilievre, would all but guarantee what he termed a “debtonation crisis,” where rising borrowing expenses could overwhelm public finances and plunge the country into a severe fiscal crisis. 

Through such sober analysis of the debt metrics and their implications if conditions change, Poilievre effectively warns Canadians of the vulnerabilities Canada is exposing itself to under the large deficits run by Trudeau’s Liberal government.

To put this massive $10.2 trillion figure into context, he notes it is larger than the debt levels of the United States during the 2008 financial crisis, Greece during its debt crisis, and over 45 major debt events in the last century globally. 

Most concerning, Poilievre argues this debt load has accumulated with interest rates near historic lows. Should rates rise even slightly to more normal long-term averages, the interest costs alone on servicing this debt would be staggering.

Using careful research, Poilievre illustrates what rising rates could mean for Canadians. If rates increased to their average of 7.6% over the past 61 years, annual interest payments on all this debt would skyrocket to $294 billion. 

That amount equals nearly 10% of Canada’s entire GDP and would mean each household paying an additional $17,806 per year just in interest costs. Such a scenario, in Poilievre’s assessment, would make a severe debt crisis virtually inevitable for the country.

Here, the Conservative leader effectively draws on historical examples to underscore his message. He cites Canada’s own debt crisis in the early 1990s that forced deep austerity measures under Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Finance Minister Paul Martin. 

Hospitals were shut down, funding to healthcare and education was slashed by billions as deficits needed to be eliminated. Poilievre asserts that Justin Trudeau, like his father Pierre before him, has pursued the same reckless spending policies that led to that crisis while also alienating the energy sector. 

This, he argues, sets the stage for a return to the stagflation of that era with high unemployment, inflation and economic stagnation.

In one of the more controversial segments, Poilievre speaks to the human costs of a looming debt crisis. He notes research showing increased suicides tend to accompany mass job losses during downturns. 

From here, Poilievre makes the case that Canadians suffering depression during an economic crash could soon be assisted in ending their lives under Trudeau’s proposed expansion of medical assistance in dying. It is a provocative claim aimed at highlighting the potential social consequences of runaway debt.

After Poilievre released this sobering documentary examining Canada’s ballooning debt crisis, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland struggled to mount an effective response. 

In an attempt to downplay the growing threat highlighted in Poilievre’s film, Freeland took to social media to tout various debt and deficit figures she claimed proved the strength of Canada’s economic position. 

However, her reply showed a worrisome dismissiveness of the real concerns brought forward by Poilievre’s in-depth analysis.

Freeland focused heavily on stock statistics like national credit ratings and gross debt-to-GDP ratios. 

But these metrics present an incomplete picture by obscuring Canada’s true gross debt burden relative to our global peers. 

Privileging net debt figures allows the Liberal government to shift attention away from the ballooning liabilities that will need to be addressed. More troubling, Freeland made no attempt to engage with Poilievre’s substantive points about how rising household indebtedness and inflationary policies are squeezing Canadians and exacerbating the risk of a looming fiscal crisis.

Rather than a meaningful response showing she understands the financial hardships facing many citizens, Freeland resorted to simply tweeting out superficial figures and did little to reassure the public. Her response exemplified an alarming unwillingness to grapple seriously with the debt dilemma laid out in Poilievre’s film. 

If the Finance Minister cannot have an informed discussion showing what remedial steps her government is prepared to take, it suggests to Canadians that the Liberals have no real answers for challenges that threaten economic stability and prosperity in the long run. Freeland will need to raise her level of discourse if she hopes to withstand Poilievre’s persuasive critiques of the Liberal record.

While Freeland touts indicators like Canada’s credit rating and low inflation compared to other G7 nations as signs of resilience, Poilievre clearly sees the debt situation as an unfolding threat. 

His film questions whether international assessments fully capture the risk posed by record household, corporate and government debt levels should conditions change. He also claims the Bank of Canada failed to foresee the surge in inflation Canadians are currently experiencing.

Through this documentary series, Poilievre is elevating issues like housing, cost of living and debt management to the top of the national conversation. Whether one agrees with his critiques or not, there is no denying he has found an engaging new format for driving the political agenda. 

But more importantly, Poilievre’s documentary has spurred a more robust public discussion about the challenges facing Canada – one that all leaders would be wise to actively contribute to as well. The bar has undoubtedly been raised for substantive policy debate thanks to Poilievre’s foray into long-form digital advocacy.

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