By the time you read this line, the clock has gone up another $9,000.
Raising awareness on the irresponsible return to debt was the key message the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wanted to get out while the organization’s provincial debt clock made a stop in the Border City last week.
Derek Fildebrandt, the Alberta director of the CTF, was on hand outside Lloydminster City Hall on a 25-stop tour, raising awareness of what he calls and return to debt.
“We are traveling with the Alberta debt clock across the province to 25 different communities, covering 2,730 kilometres. We are trying to accomplish two things in this travel; one is to raise awareness about Alberta’s destructive return to debt,” he said.
“What that means is for people in the province, and what it means for taxpayers. We are also raising awareness for what this means for young people and what it’s going to mean for them in the future.”
The second task is traveling around and getting commitments from MLAs to do something about the rising debt, according to Fildebrandt.
“We have to stop the debt clock,” he said. “The first thing is important, raising awareness because we launched the debt clock just on Monday (July 14) and it has gone up almost $85 million since that time. Our debt is going up about $4.7 billion every single year, and it’s already past $10 billion.”
Fildebrandt said that the alarm has to be rung now because by 2016, the debt will go up to over $21 billion.
“When that happens, we are going to be $1.4 billion every single year in interest payments. That is $1.4 billion that is not going into buildings roads, schools and bridges. That money isn’t going towards training nurses or hiring teachers.”
That $1.4 billion is going directly to the banks, Fildebrandt proclaimed.
During the tour he has met with MLAs from two of the four major parities that seem to want to sign the debt pledge that the CTF has crafted.
“The Wildrose and the Liberal MLAs have come on board with our debt pledge,” he said. We have not gotten any PC MLAs or NDP MLAs to sign the pledge.”
The CTF had, at the time of press, just over 15 MLAs agreeing to the CTF’s debt pledge.
According to the CTF website, the Alberta debt clock raises another $150 per second, and it goes up half a million dollars per hour.