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Interactive graphic: Charting Canada's rising debt load

Before the global economic downturn, Canada's combined federal and provincial debt was $778-billion. It is now more than $1-trillion. When interest rates start rising again, paying it off won't be easy.

Use this interactive to explore the federal and provincial net debt, as well as projected deficits for 2012-13. Use the buttons along the top to toggle views. Use the drop-down menu to show more information about each province.

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Federal$26-billion (deficit for 2012-13)

The March, 2012 budget initially projected a deficit of $21.1-billion. That estimate was revised to $26-billion in the November fiscal update.

Return to a balanced budget: 2015-16
It’s complicated. The Conservative 2011 election platform promised balanced books by 2014-15. The March, 2012 budget said 2015-16 and the November fiscal update said 2016-17. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has since said the deficit will be erased by 2015-16.

Main challenges:
Low commodity prices, low inflation (which affects nominal GDP) and low growth are all conspiring to give Mr. Flaherty less revenue as he prepares a 2013 budget that is expected in late March.

Outlook:
The International Monetary Fund recently said Ottawa’s deficit targets are achievable. “A budgetary balance by 2015 is well within reach,” it said in a Feb. 14 report.

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Editor's note: An earlier version of the legend showed some incorrect figures. This version has been corrected.
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