The latest Report Card from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) reviews this year’s provincial budgets and finds that Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are two of only four Canadian provinces that presented a balanced budget for 2018/2019. Newfoundland and Labrador’s net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the highest in Canada and is still climbing. The debt ratio has stabilized in New Brunswick but is still the third highest in Canada.
APEC recommends that all four Atlantic provinces provide a 20-25 year baseline fiscal projection along with a fiscal plan to ensure sustainability and improve their fiscal competitiveness. APEC suggests that greater Atlantic collaboration to reduce duplication in program design and delivery could help manage spending pressures in the face of a slowing economy and aging population.