Ottawa, November 25, 2005

Archived - Minister of Finance Tables Debt Management Report for 2004-05

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Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate the Government of Canada's Debt Management Report for fiscal year 2004-05.

The report notes that the Government reduced its debt on a full accrual basis by $1.6 billion in 2004-05, to $499.9 billion. Federal debt now stands $63 billion lower than its peak in 1996-97, leading to $3 billion a year in annual savings that can now be invested in the priorities of Canadians.

As a result of ongoing debt reduction, the federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio declined to 38.7 per cent in 2004-05 from a peak of 68.4 per cent in 1995-96. It is now the lowest federal debt-to-GDP ratio since 1983-84. The Government today spends approximately 17 cents of every dollar of revenue to pay interest on the public debt, down from a peak of almost 39 cents in 1990-91.

The Debt Management Report provides Canadians with a detailed account of the Government of Canada's borrowing, cash and foreign exchange reserves management in 2004-05. It also summarizes initiatives designed to improve the management of federal debt at a time when total federal debt is shrinking.

As the report indicates, a recent priority for the Government has been maintaining a liquid, well-functioning securities market while borrowing requirements have been declining. As a result, the Government has taken a number of measures over the past fiscal year. These include:

  • Reducing the turnaround time (the time in which treasury bill and bond auction and operational results are made public), helping to reduce market risk for auction participants and improve the efficiency of the auction process.
  • Reducing debt costs by continuing to gradually lower the fixed-rate debt component from two-thirds to 60 per cent, given the greater capacity to manage the risk of debt cost fluctuations.
  • Conducting a review of the Government's debt distribution framework, to ensure stable, low-cost funding, wide participation by investors and a well-functioning market for Government of Canada securities.

The Debt Management Report may be viewed free of charge on the Department of Finance website. Printed copies cost $10.70 and may be ordered by calling the Department's Distribution Centre at (613) 995-2855.

For further information:

Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861
David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080
Nigel Stephens
Financial Markets Division
(613) 943-1944

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