Québec's debt

In recent years, the subject of the government's debt has become more prominent in discussions on public finances. People are concerned by the size of the debt and its growth.

How much is the Québec government's debt?

As at March 31, 2019, the gross debt will stand at $200.8 billion, or 46.1% of GDP. The ratio of gross debt to GDP has decreased over the past four years, that is, since March 31, 2015.

The gross debt represents the sum of the debt issued on financial markets and the net liabilities for the retirement plans and other future benefits of government employees from which the balance of the Generations Fund is subtracted. The gross debt does not take into account the government's assets (fixed assets, investments, etc.).

That is why, in addition to the concept of gross debt, the government uses the concepts of net debt and debt representing accumulated deficits.

The Québec Government's Debt
as at March 31, 2019
  Millions of
dollars
%
of GDP
Gross debt (1) 200 756 46.1
Less: Financial assets, net of other liabilities (2) - 26 661  
Net debt 174 095 40.0
Less: Non-financial assets - 72 231  
DEBT REPRESENTING ACCUMULATED DEFICITS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS 101 864 23.4
Plus: Stabilization reserve 9 674  
Debt representing accumulated deficits within the meaning of the Act to reduce the debt and establish the Generations Fund 111 538 25.6

(1) The gross debt excludes pre-financing and takes into account the sums accumulated in the Generations Fund.
(2) Financial assets include, in particular, participations in government enterprises (for example, Hydro-Québec) and accounts receivable, minus other liabilities (for example, accounts payable).