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National, provincial debts 'out of control,' Taxpayers Federation claims

The gains made in paying back Canada's national debt between 1997 and 2008 will be wiped out by March, according to Canadian Taxpayers Federation's B.C. director Gregory Thomas.

Every Canadian citizen, including children, owes an average $16,500 share of the federal debt, which continues to grow at $124 million every day.

And it's not much better on the provincial level in B.C., where each man, woman and child owes an average $10,000 share of the growing B.C. debt.

Currently the federal government is paying out $93 million a day in interest, and the B.C. government will pay out $2.12 billion in interest on the provincial debt in the coming year.

"We know who the governments expect to pay it back eventually," said Thomas.

This stark reality is what motivated the CTF to restore a large aluminum clock that displays both the per second increase in the national debt and the per-person share of this debt. The clock has been mounted inside a trailer and is taking the message across Canada.

The numbers spin by at a dizzying pace on the Debt Clock, demonstrating graphically the enormity of the national debt.

The clock can also be calibrated to demonstrate provincial debt and this will be done at stops in each of the nine provinces it will visit before the tour winds up at the end of March in Halifax.

"We want to see leadership across the political spectrum to stand up and commit to addressing the serious issue that is our provincial debt," said Thomas.

"Leadership is about making tough choices and the longer we wait to address the problem, the choices get even tougher."

There is also a dedicated campaign web page at DebtClockTour.ca that includes an interactive map of the clock's travels with daily postings, ways to contact lawmakers, a petition, and a debt clock widget that can be downloaded to a website or handheld device.

Comments can be posted on the CTF's campaign page as well as their Facebook page (TaxpayerDOTcom) or through the Twitter hash tag (#debtclock). The public is also invited to text "debtclock" to 70259 for campaign updates and interaction directly to their handheld devices.

The budget for the campaign is $64,633, with half of this amount allocated to the equipment. Donations to the CTF are not tax deductible.

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