CBC Digital Archives

Days of debt

In 1968, Canadians first got their hands on credit cards, making it faster and easier to spend money they didn't necessarily have. Aside from their plastic, many Canadians also deal with the varying burdens of student loans, mortgages and all the other factors that contribute to personal debt. The CBC Digital Archives looks back on the times and troubles of personal debt in Canada, exploring how we get into debt and how we might avoid it.

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The economy is on the upswing in 1995, but the financial picture in many individual Canadian households is not so rosy. Canadian have run up a staggering $450 billion in household debt and the average debt per household has doubled in the last 10 years. In this report, CBC-TV's focuses on one family dealing with its burdens and how they are surviving the pressure of their debts.
• 1995 was mostly a good year for the Canadian economy. The Canadian dollar rose against the U.S. for most of the year, but the Quebec referendum of that year hurt the Canadian economy and sent the dollar into a steep drop. For more on this subject, look at our clip The Quebec referendum and the bottom line.

• As of 2008, the average Canadian household debt, including mortgages, was $80,000.

• Canadian families averaged $7,500 in savings in 1990. By 2008, they were saving just $1,000.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Nov. 30, 1995
Guest(s): Arthur Donner, Alex St. Germain, Terry St. Germain
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Jeffrey Kofman
Duration: 2:53

Last updated: October 18, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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