Lighten up

Let’s review, shall we?

Stock markets have been on a tear (the Dow’s near at an all-time record level). B&D portfolios have sloughed off the worst pandemic in modern history, political crisis plus near-record volatility. Yawn. S’all good. Commodity prices are rising with oil seeing the best pop in months. Bond yields have started to plump again.


Vaccines. Three of them now. Distribution chains are being built. The new American president’s first task will be ensure the pandemic, deaths, hospitalizations and economic destruction ends. Yes, it’ll take months. But the direction is clear. We know where we shall be by this time next year. It will be better.

This pathetic blog has reminded you since March that all pandemics are temporary. They hurt. Then they pass. We told you to stay invested. Ignore the noise. Don’t turn temporary paper losses into real ones. Have faith. Trump would be gone. Science would out.

Now it’s assured this will be the case. Global growth will restore. Demand for commodities will rise. Consumer spending and corporate profits will return. And out of this dark time comes dramatic biotechnology – ‘messenger’ vaccines with the potential to improve human life in important new ways. This is why markets are behaving as such. Stocks up. Bonds down. Yields increasing. Inflation will follow as the GDP plumps. Then rates. So, yes, lock in your mortgage now.

$     $     $

“I have been reading your blog for many years – thankful for the guidance!” says Jeremy by way of the MSU.

Question: Is it better to continue with a HELOC of $450k at 3.05% (Manulife One) and put more income towards paying down the principle, or to lock in $450k at a fixed 5yr rate of 2.59% (Manulife One) with an amortization of, say, 20 years for a reasonable monthly payment of just over $2k?

We have had the HELOC since 2008. Have registered and non-registered investments totalling over $300k and contributing to 2 defined benefit pensions. Household income over $200k. Toronto detached house currently worth 1.5 million.

It seems we should just be more diligent to keep saving as much as over the monthly interest payment of the HELOC, which would decrease the principal. We have benefitted from having cash on hand to use and invest but now wish to focus more attention on reducing mortgage debt.  Paying too much to the bank…

Face it, a 3% loan rate these days is excessive. Even the big banks are shoveling money out the door at 1.8% (although rates have actually started to sneak higher). But, of course, with a HELOC you need make interest-only payments, while a mortgage is amortized, with blended payments, meaning a portion of the debt is repaid with each one. (If the home equity LOC money was used for an investment, 100% of the monthly interest payments can be deducted from your taxable income.)

First, forget Manulife. Rates are too high and a 2.59% mortgage is excessive. Second, if you have trouble repaying any debt on a $200,000 household income, you’re spending too damn much on frills like children. Buck up. Do a budget. Third, converting the HELOC to a mortgage at a much lower rate with a weekly-pay feature (the correct kind) will let you rapidly reduce the borrowing.

But even without the weekly-pay benefit, the mortgage – while costing you $9,000 a year more in cash flow than the interest-only HELOC you now have – would reduce the debt over five years by almost $75,000. That’s how dramatic the impact of these generationally-low rates is. The principal repayment portion of the monthlies is massive.

Finally, of $1.4 million in net worth, close to 80% is in one asset. The house. Yes, you have DB pensions, but that’s not money you control and job loss can happen. The fact you’ve had a HELOC for the past twelve years and haven’t paid it off is not cool. Nor does it sound like it was an investment loan. And I hope the pensions are fat, because three hundred thousand is a dangerously small nestegg. If you have defined-benefit pensions, hopefully the bulk is safely inside TFSAs instead of RRSPs – which can flip you into a higher tax bracket after age 71. That’s apparently when men reach their sexual peak. Or die trying.

$     $     $

Next Monday, kids. That’s when Chrystia will tell you what the pandemic damage has been and where we may be headed. It’s been a long time – well over a year – since we had a regular federal budget, and Dog only knows when the next one will come. The event on November 30th will be another ‘update’, which means she can lie with impunity. And smile.

In July the T2 government said the deficit would be $343.2 billion, an all-time record (the previous high was Harper’s $56 billion hole during the credit crisis). Since then the Libs have announced new spending initiatives (like pharmacare) plus more Covid relief (an extension of CERB-like payments plus new business subsidies). And now we have a second wave of the virus surpassing the first. Ottawa’s spending, relative to the size of the economic, is the most profligate in the world.

So here’s your assignment. What will be the new deficit number? Post your estimate.

The winner will be given a guest column on this blog. Plus, you can moderate the comment section for an entire 24 hours. Then we will pay for your therapy!


#1 Kemby on 11.23.20 at 3:44 pm

$532 billion

#2 Mordko on 11.23.20 at 3:45 pm

Will peak at 1.5 trillion. Once it gets close to 100% GDP we’ll have to start paying up.

#3 truefacts on 11.23.20 at 3:45 pm

Deficit: $502.3 Billion

(The 2.3 for essentials like WE Charity Funding for Trudeau family members, etc)

#4 Captain Uppa on 11.23.20 at 3:45 pm

354.1 Billion.

You’re not going to like what my guest column will be about: “uppa, Uppa, UPPA for Real Estate!”

#5 J on 11.23.20 at 3:45 pm

425 billion is my guess. J.

#6 PeterGGGG on 11.23.20 at 3:46 pm

The Liberals know only one thing: borrow and shovel money out the door with no restraint. Given the shocking deficit and debt have they cut back anything non-essential at all? Methinks not.

#7 Eco Capitalist on 11.23.20 at 3:48 pm

I bid 387 billion.

Are we using Price is Right rules?

#8 Flop... on 11.23.20 at 3:48 pm

Warning: The following statement is probably a factually incorrect Flopperism, but let’s go through with the thought process anyhow.

I am going to run for a federal parliament seat, and then when successful in that endeavour, get booted, partly because I believe in listening to people and everyone deserves a voice.

Then I am going to start a wildly successful blog and then shut it down because of a few yahoos who’s main goal appears to bring the blog into disrepute…


#9 SunShowers on 11.23.20 at 3:49 pm

Boggles my mind to see people with six-figure household incomes (plus pension plans!) complaining about not being able to make ends meet. So painfully and comically out of touch.

If my wife and I combined made that kind of money, I probably wouldn’t have the blood pressure of a stroke patient twice my age from worrying about bills every month.

#10 Classical Liberal Millennial on 11.23.20 at 3:49 pm

$455 Billion

#11 calgaryPhantom on 11.23.20 at 3:51 pm

750 billion…..

Now i am signing off to prepare for the blog post.

#12 Bdwy on 11.23.20 at 3:51 pm


#13 Linda on 11.23.20 at 3:53 pm

The DB pension isn’t necessarily the safety net one might think. There have been a few companies – Nortel, Sears & Air Canada come to mind – whose DB pension took a heck of a shellacking, leaving retirees as well as employees with – well – not much.

As for the deficit guess? I’m figuring we will be fortunate if it is ‘only’ 500 billion…..

#14 YVR Renter on 11.23.20 at 3:53 pm

I bid $472 billion.

#15 WTF on 11.23.20 at 3:53 pm

The truth is the deficit with this government.

#16 SHANE GALLANT on 11.23.20 at 3:54 pm

$575 billion

#17 FrillsLikeChildren on 11.23.20 at 3:56 pm

I don’t get it, since when do we consider children frills and growth and profits and market and economy not frills!!! Please explain.

Ever since we lost our sense of humour. – Garth

#18 UtterlyConfusedCanadian on 11.23.20 at 3:57 pm

1.2 Trillion.

#19 Burnaby Boy on 11.23.20 at 4:01 pm

Guessing what the size if the final deficit will be is akin to guessing the size of the iceberg HMCS Canada just hit.

#20 Flanneur on 11.23.20 at 4:01 pm

I’m guessing 480 billion.

#21 mitzerboyakaQueencitykidd on 11.23.20 at 4:01 pm


#22 Hope on 11.23.20 at 4:01 pm

$451 billion.

More importantly, let’s get those vaccines going. Gen Hillier get those supply lines set up sir and let’s do this.

#23 Comrade on 11.23.20 at 4:02 pm

I bid 530 billion.

#24 Ian on 11.23.20 at 4:02 pm

I estimate that we can anticipate a federal budget deficit of $489B

#25 Literally Hitler on 11.23.20 at 4:03 pm

The new deficit will be a gazillion.
Three more weeks until the US has a president-elect.
Two years for clinical trials; but there will probably be guinea pig volunteers running like lemmings to be jabbed with a possibly 90% effective vaccine for a disease 99% of people won’t contract. Meanwhile, small business bankruptcies this winter plus excess mortality due to suicides and postponed treatments will have a much more devastating impact than the WuFlu.

#26 willworkforpickles on 11.23.20 at 4:05 pm

Hey Ponzius Pilatus – I think Garth may have liked your suggestion for a guest columnist spot. If the winner doesn’t blow it we could see more of the same.
Great idea on your part. Even greater that Garth will give it a try.

#27 TurnerNation on 11.23.20 at 4:05 pm

A cheerful missive here. All main stream sources.

– Small business: NY Times calling for destruction of our way of life with more days (111 days) of prison lockdown in Canada? Always with the 11s.
NO more news exists; only predictive programming. Many are in denial, I get that it’s a way to try and cope. Some people take well to this. MF has deputized himself as a commandant to (re-)enforce our minds against the ‘dangerous’ ways of thinking.
Say how are those R0 numbers looking today? Yeah that goalpost.

— But the same Rag claims:
“Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be. The usual diagnostic tests may simply be too sensitive and too slow to contain the spread of the virus”

— You need real health care? Too bad you ain’t getting it. The system has been turned against you.
“The Nova Scotia Health Authority has stopped hospital visits in the central zone amid rising case numbers and community spread of COVID-19 in the Halifax area.”

—- Strategies for the New System. Basically anything fun and social is now globally “Non CV compliant”. Only work allowed in this new system Comrade.
Healthy people = Dangerous per this article.

1. Take the fines, go BK, then take the UBI.
2. And/or Flood the tip/snitch lines with *legitimate* reports. Ensure every minute of authorities’ time each day – absent real crime – is taken up with CV Crimes.
Our priority is to educate people to change their behaviour for the safety of everyone.”
Earlier this week, a homeowner in Saanich was fined $2,300 for hosting a poker game in a garage.

#28 Leyton Smell on 11.23.20 at 4:05 pm

$725 billion

#29 dgb on 11.23.20 at 4:06 pm

oh Garth you really are a gem!…this made my day ….hahahaha….Blessings on you and your Dorothy this Christmas season!!!

#30 Watcher on 11.23.20 at 4:10 pm

Deficit Number: $557 Billion

#31 Newbie on 11.23.20 at 4:10 pm

Is 1.0T deficit in one year too much?

#32 The real Kip (Ret) on 11.23.20 at 4:10 pm

Deficit will be $369-billion. Lock it in now while you still can.

#33 Squire on 11.23.20 at 4:11 pm

My guess is $343 billion + another $80 billion
Total $423 to $425 billion

And stay invested as mentioned by Garth many times.

#34 jontown on 11.23.20 at 4:12 pm

Price is Right rules? Closest without going over?


#35 T-Rev on 11.23.20 at 4:16 pm


My guest column will focus on what GF has done for me over the years; how when I’ve followed the DOGma it’s led to freedom, liquidity, and happiness, and when I’ve gambled against its advice, I’ve tended to add stress, lose big and cage myself in the process. Oh, and on the importance of having at least one Harley in your portfolio.

#36 mike from mtl on 11.23.20 at 4:17 pm

Going to say 600B, doubling is close enough for government work.

#37 binky barnes on 11.23.20 at 4:17 pm

Whatever Mr. Justin Trudeau sees fit to spend is fine with me. He knows what he is doing, and I am thankful his able hands are on the wheel, expertly guiding our nation through these very troubled times.


#38 Roberto on 11.23.20 at 4:17 pm

460 Billion!

#39 paulo on 11.23.20 at 4:18 pm

477.6 Billion

#40 T-Rev on 11.23.20 at 4:18 pm


My guest column will focus on what GF has done for me over the years; how when I’ve followed the DOGma it’s led to freedom, liquidity, and happiness, and when I’ve gambled against its advice, I’ve tended to add stress, lose big and cage myself in the process. Oh, and on the importance of having at least one Harley in your portfolio

#41 hwy_str on 11.23.20 at 4:19 pm


#42 I’m stupid on 11.23.20 at 4:20 pm


#43 Tron on 11.23.20 at 4:21 pm


#44 Paperclip on 11.23.20 at 4:22 pm

Garth, can you please break down this statement into more detail in a future posting, or direct me to an older post where it’s explained?

“If the home equity LOC money was used for an investment, 100% of the monthly interest payments can be deducted from your taxable income.”

At these rates using a HELOC for investments seems to be either a good idea, or a great idea. What’s the catch?

Oh, and I’m guessing the deficit will be $373 billion

Thank you for the daily posts. They’re something I look forward to every day.

#45 SunShowers on 11.23.20 at 4:23 pm

Sorry for the double post, but the allure of a second guest column is too great.

I’m going with $470 billion!

#46 Jean Higgins on 11.23.20 at 4:23 pm

Deficit Number: $435 Billion

#47 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.23.20 at 4:24 pm

Got this song in my head:
Que Sera, Sera?
Whatever will be, will be.
The future is not our’s to see.
Does it have to be down to the penny?

#48 KNOW IT ALL on 11.23.20 at 4:30 pm


#49 Chimingin on 11.23.20 at 4:31 pm

$549 billion deficit

#50 Randolph on 11.23.20 at 4:34 pm

Question about mortgage pre-approval.

If a prospective buyer hits up a bank for mortgage approval (before buying) how long typically does the pre-approval stand?

In other words, how long does the prospective buyer have to find-buy-close a deal?

Normally 60 days. – Garth

#51 Dolce Vita on 11.23.20 at 4:36 pm

$1 Quadrillion


Based on having done this 2X (no advice, statement of fact):

“The winner will be given a guest column on this blog.”

Which after having done the above you inevitably end up doing this anyway:

“Plus, you can moderate the comment section for an entire 24 hours.”


AND EXCUSE ME My Liege, how come I never got:

“Then we will pay for your therapy!”


To the winner, Garth gave me better than that…he conversed with me via e-mail ALL NIGHT LONG.

Who ever wins…on that my last experience with Garth, I got you beat.


Gladly trade a nights conversation with Garth for a therapist any day, hands down.


To the Moderator:

Let us know it went. Inquiring minds want to know.

All the best to whomever you end up being.

#52 Oracle of Ottawa on 11.23.20 at 4:37 pm

Let’s make it an even $500 billion. As my father says (who was a life long Conservative supporter) the Liberals agenda is to tax and spend.

#53 Barb on 11.23.20 at 4:37 pm

“And out of this dark time comes dramatic biotechnology – ‘messenger’ vaccines with the potential to improve human life in important new ways. “.

Yes and what a nice feeling to be positive again!
Imagine…this mRNA process could–yes COULD–eventually lead to eliminating cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.
How lucky we all are to be living in this time…versus ill people 50, 75 yeaars ago whose doctors were unsure what disease they actually had, let alone treatment.

Manulife. Yes, we turfed our investments in their mutual funds. Best thing we ever did!

$512.8 billion guess.
Can the winner ELECT someone else to do the guest column and moderation? *Grin*

#54 SimplyPut7 on 11.23.20 at 4:37 pm

$549.25 billion

Any higher and they have to start worrying about how to spin the excessive spending in their reelection bid.

I think people are getting sick of smaller businesses being told to close but the Hudson Bay located on Queen Street can have an army of lawyers say they are an essential business and must stay open because they have a basement full of overpriced snacks that people can’t live without.

#55 Penny Henny on 11.23.20 at 4:37 pm

#46 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.23.20 at 4:24 pm

Does it have to be down to the penny?


#56 Piano_Man87 on 11.23.20 at 4:38 pm


Title of my guest blog post: “Cats > dogs, scientists prove definitively”

#57 Flop... on 11.23.20 at 4:39 pm

Using the Moneyball formula I determined the upcoming federal deficit to be…


If successful I will defer, because I believe the 99% of readers on this blog that are too fragile to wade into the comments section would want that…


#58 Tron Light on 11.23.20 at 4:40 pm

I’m not sure how, in the midst of a pandemic with businesses being closed down, people on CERB, deferral of mortgages, high unemployment, the airline industry losing altitude, the travel and tourism industry bottoming out and basically other fundamental economic problems, that the stock market can be at new highs?

It’s no longer about productivity, innovation, profitability or the health of the economy but more about how much “stimulus” will the Bank of Canada, the Federal Reserve and other central banks will inject into markets. Wealth is generated from production not by the punch of a button from a banker. It’s almost like taking CERB even if you may not need it – you may as well get in on the action of the “stimulus” machine.

By the way, the term “lockdown” came from prison riots, you know, when they needed everyone back in their cells to stop the riots.

#59 Sean on 11.23.20 at 4:41 pm

489.9 Billion.

#60 Faron on 11.23.20 at 4:41 pm


Why the heck would I want to risk having to moderate this thing?


$392 billion.

#61 wallflower on 11.23.20 at 4:42 pm

Wondering … does the Fact Sheet for prospective immigrants highlight their future deficit / debt obligations?

#62 Camille on 11.23.20 at 4:44 pm

From the CIA: estimated 2020 Federal deficit 445.8 Billion

#63 an investor on 11.23.20 at 4:45 pm

The new deficit will be $666 billion.

#64 Steven Nicolle on 11.23.20 at 4:46 pm

485 Billion

#65 Dolce Vita on 11.23.20 at 4:46 pm

Is it going to be a number like The Price is Right number, without going over or just plain, the Closest?

The Price is Right would have been more fun.

#66 BlogDog123 on 11.23.20 at 4:46 pm

$493 Billion

#67 Kevin on 11.23.20 at 4:48 pm

« Ever since we lost our sense of humour »; Garth, you’re killing me! So did you hear the one about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac? He lay awake all night wondering if there really is a dog…

#68 wallflower on 11.23.20 at 4:49 pm

When are people with zero sense of humour being banned?

#17 FrillsLikeChildren on 11.23.20 at 3:56 pm

#69 Cowtown Cowboy on 11.23.20 at 4:50 pm

I’m going with $550 B

#70 The West on 11.23.20 at 4:51 pm


#71 RMTL on 11.23.20 at 4:53 pm

$494.7 billion and a few care bears’ hugs

#72 Phylis on 11.23.20 at 4:53 pm

$388 billion, and a smile.

#73 George on 11.23.20 at 4:56 pm

Plus, you can moderate the comment section for an entire 24 hours. Then we will pay for your therapy!



#74 Bob in Hamilton on 11.23.20 at 4:57 pm

475 Billion

#75 Strippaplease on 11.23.20 at 4:59 pm

465 Billion, make it rain, baby

#76 Doug t on 11.23.20 at 4:59 pm

How many stars are in the universe- but I’ll go with 600 bill and 25 cents

#77 the jaguar on 11.23.20 at 5:00 pm

516 billion.

#78 DON on 11.23.20 at 5:01 pm

454 billion

#79 Mr. Money Printer on 11.23.20 at 5:02 pm

I bid $324 billion

#80 Paul on 11.23.20 at 5:03 pm

9 Randolph on 11.23.20 at 4:34 pm

Question about mortgage pre-approval.

If a prospective buyer hits up a bank for mortgage approval (before buying) how long typically does the pre-approval stand?

In other words, how long does the prospective buyer have to find-buy-close a deal?

Normally 60 days. – Garth
I find it 90 days if you give the nice lady at the bank, BACON

#81 Nat on 11.23.20 at 5:03 pm

The deficit is “who cares doesn’t matter anymore go collect the free goodies aka not telling you” guaranteed! I win :)

#82 Stan Brooks on 11.23.20 at 5:03 pm

437 billions official number for the contest.

Not enough vaccines until 2024 according to Financial Times:

As for the coming inflation tsunami ….

Remember folks, when you print a few trillions and increase the monetary base in exponential manner:
, the inflation is still sub 1 %!


#83 bobo on 11.23.20 at 5:04 pm

480 billion

#84 WhereToNow on 11.23.20 at 5:04 pm

Darn Deficit … $ 617 billion Yikes !!

#85 lenticular on 11.23.20 at 5:05 pm

412 Billion.

#86 Ronaldo on 11.23.20 at 5:07 pm

$600.25 billion.

#87 Jay on 11.23.20 at 5:11 pm

im guess 398 billion this year.

Hopefully they can claw back some of the CERB money given out to those who didn’t quality or who got 2 payments.

#88 The Woosh on 11.23.20 at 5:12 pm

#49 Randolph on 11.23.20 at 4:34 pm
Question about mortgage pre-approval.

If a prospective buyer hits up a bank for mortgage approval (before buying) how long typically does the pre-approval stand?

In other words, how long does the prospective buyer have to find-buy-close a deal?

Normally 60 days. – Garth


That’s 6 months for a PAM (pre-approved mortgages) at which point the bank has to do another hit on your credit bureau. Rate guarantee can go 155 days. If rates go down, you call the bank to lock in the lower rate and the 155 days starts again. I just went through this.

#89 Val on 11.23.20 at 5:15 pm


#90 ugh on 11.23.20 at 5:16 pm

$409 Bil

can’t wait to help repay this over the next 50 years…

#91 joblo on 11.23.20 at 5:18 pm

T2 may as well recruit Dr. Evil
One million dollars

#92 cuke and tomato picker on 11.23.20 at 5:19 pm

I believe it will be 601 billion.

#93 Diversified in Oakville (Now Mississauga) on 11.23.20 at 5:20 pm

486.5 Billion.
Can’t wait for the winning number!

#94 The WOMBAT on 11.23.20 at 5:20 pm

Thanks Garth.


#95 willworkforpickles on 11.23.20 at 5:21 pm

This is a pick your numbers lottery not a projection. Not enough avail. info to make any kind of projection…so based on Dec. 2019 figures and their July 2020 deficit forecast, I’ll guesstimate (not an estimate) ….$630 billion.
…(the number that first popped into my head like a premonition was 496-B…after looking into it a little I’ll stick with the 630-B guess).

#96 ADAM on 11.23.20 at 5:21 pm

$611 Billion.

#97 domain on 11.23.20 at 5:22 pm

$433 Billion

#98 Draxler on 11.23.20 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for providing a variety of incomes and wealth to see insights into people’s personal finances!

$376 B

#99 number numbers on 11.23.20 at 5:26 pm

352.1 billion! I’m starting to write the column already.

#100 Gary Hanson on 11.23.20 at 5:29 pm

$420 BIllon

#101 Soviet Capitalist on 11.23.20 at 5:30 pm

1.2 trillion

#102 you know val on 11.23.20 at 5:34 pm

500 Billion

#103 Keith on 11.23.20 at 5:34 pm

432.1 Billion

#104 Pffft ... on 11.23.20 at 5:36 pm

Won’t take a guess as I may just win the prize …

#105 FNAiks on 11.23.20 at 5:36 pm

427 billion. Great idea Garth!

#106 George S on 11.23.20 at 5:37 pm

I would guess $395 Billion. They will fiddle with the numbers so it doesn’t sound extremely horrific.

If I get it right I would like to do a guest post about trying to meet our Paris Accord emissions reduction targets and how it will make the Pandemic look like “the good old days”

#107 Fluorine on 11.23.20 at 5:39 pm

I guess $393.2 billion!

A cool $50b more sounds about right for this Nov. 30th “update”.


#108 Prince Polo on 11.23.20 at 5:39 pm


Is there a sign-up sheet for 24hr guest moderators?

Get a grip – Garth’s guest minion

How’d I do?

#109 Ed on 11.23.20 at 5:40 pm

I normally wouldn’t care to comment but a full page of my own opinion published is the least I can do to save Canada…$411,000,000,666 for the implied deficit.

#110 crossbordershopper on 11.23.20 at 5:43 pm

my jellybean guess in the jar is $492 billion for this year.
im more concerned moving forward that some 55% to 60% of people will be out of the paying tax game. That is more troubling than a pandemic laced deficit number.
structural lack of income for millions of Canadians, taxes aren’t there problem, lack of income is.
markets can do what they want, just look at the EV stocks, crazy, but I see poverty everywhere, lined up at the reduced section at the grocery store, these aren’t people with million dollar homes and DB Pensions, millions of people who buy outdated bread and rotting fruits due to lack of income. They didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t get sick in there life, had low paying jobs most of their lives, and ended up with marginally above zero. That is the real problem moving forward. Lack of Incentive to get up in the morning.

#111 Seekingfreedom on 11.23.20 at 5:43 pm

My guess is 495 Billion.

#112 Frank N Beans on 11.23.20 at 5:44 pm

$320 Billion

#113 fishman on 11.23.20 at 5:45 pm

Chrystia will give us 377.5B now & it will come in later at 477.5B

#114 So glad I sold on 11.23.20 at 5:47 pm

712 billion and yikes!!!

#115 Middleagemadness on 11.23.20 at 5:48 pm


#116 Adam Smith on 11.23.20 at 5:50 pm

$491 billion.

#117 Chris in Edm on 11.23.20 at 5:51 pm

$430 million, but the true number will be over $500mill

#118 EXLX on 11.23.20 at 5:52 pm

Deficit will balloon to Can$ 610B. Is that a big enough number?

#119 just a dude on 11.23.20 at 5:57 pm


Thank you for another great post.

I guess $378.4 billion.

If I win (I mean no disrespect here), I shall forfeit my winnings to the runner up as I do not have the mental fortitude, as you do, to tackle the comments section!

#120 Larry B on 11.23.20 at 5:57 pm

Since this fiscal “update” is nothing but a fairy tale…

I am going at $378.6B

(reason being, a low lie is better than the truth)

#121 The West on 11.23.20 at 6:00 pm

Hey Garth,

Let’s do a post on the Laffer Curve.

Supply Side Economics is a thing of beauty!

#122 Ryan on 11.23.20 at 6:00 pm

I bid $532 billion!

#123 Penny Henny on 11.23.20 at 6:01 pm

373.3 B

#124 Drinking on 11.23.20 at 6:03 pm

560 billion would be my guess. My bet is on a free sauna, ah, can just feel the Covid pouring out of my pores, rolling the dices as I write! Dices are rolling, but?? :)

#125 Whitey on 11.23.20 at 6:03 pm

395 billion, and change.

#126 Cto on 11.23.20 at 6:04 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up in the t’s and not b’s.
But really who cares! This is a budget that will never, ever, ever be paid off!…unless,… we use the new invention, MMT, and
the BOC can get the average Canadian house up to 3 million.
Inflation like this can just wipe out the debt.
Is this not what they are planning???
In Canada the majority of Inflation will be confined to the housing market and all things related,…like gobs of more debt. But its all ok…

#127 Midnights on 11.23.20 at 6:06 pm

Didn’t you say something to the effect that Trudeau misspoke?

Do you handle government portfolios or peoples portfolio’s that are still active within government?

#128 John on 11.23.20 at 6:06 pm

456 billion

#129 VanMan on 11.23.20 at 6:06 pm

450 Billion Dollarettes!

#130 Alberta Ed on 11.23.20 at 6:08 pm

$501 billion. I’d like the therapy coverage in beer.

#131 dutch4505 on 11.23.20 at 6:18 pm

516 billion

#132 daveyoy on 11.23.20 at 6:18 pm

369 billion

#133 Wrk.dover on 11.23.20 at 6:19 pm

The prize is scarier than the answer.

#134 Paully on 11.23.20 at 6:21 pm

$581.5 Billion

#135 Kevin on 11.23.20 at 6:24 pm

I’ll take $384 billion, Garth.

#136 Bk on 11.23.20 at 6:28 pm

Actual retail price….. 515 billion

#137 As Is Old Man on 11.23.20 at 6:29 pm


#138 Juve101 on 11.23.20 at 6:30 pm

“Ever since we lost our sense of humour. – Garth”

Touché ;)

#139 Michael on 11.23.20 at 6:31 pm

443.2 billion

#140 Michael on 11.23.20 at 6:32 pm

don’t forget we have to bail out the airlines!

#141 Vacant Escalator Shart on 11.23.20 at 6:34 pm

414 Billion. This feels like the Showcase Showdown where you really want the prize but you may pass on it because of the comment moderation part. Thanks for what you do!

#142 AC_Stock on 11.23.20 at 6:34 pm

Six hundred and sixty nine billion.

#143 Tarot Card on 11.23.20 at 6:38 pm

446.3 B
So many variables does that include or exclude the 4B contingency fund?
It will be less as they will fudge the numbers by not including pharma care until Supplementary estimates or a new budget next year.

On the question on Mortgages if I may add my research this week.

BMO, RBC and HSBC is 120 days to lock in on a new mortgage.
If you are renewing a mortgage like me then 30 days
All mortgages are open within 6 months to renewal date, in other words no cost to break the mortgage.

I have an appointment Dec 1 to lock in my rate.
Current five year is two big banks 1.78 and HSBC is 1.64, I am praying for no hikes before then.

Guest columnist
Wow so many topics have been covered by you already
My topic will how to make a priorities list with goals as personal budget is so old fashion.

Good luck Everyone.

#144 RealityChek on 11.23.20 at 6:38 pm

Deficit: $550 Billion

#145 Bogdan on 11.23.20 at 6:44 pm

$420 B

#146 Ottawan on 11.23.20 at 6:46 pm

412,000,000,001 $

Maybe do like Bob Barker, where it’s the closest without going over

#147 Winterpeg on 11.23.20 at 6:47 pm

343.2 (the current deficit) times 2 =
My final answer.

#148 Russ on 11.23.20 at 6:49 pm

$444.4 Billion CDN

I chose a number that is easy for me to remember.

Cheers, R

#149 Delbert Grady on 11.23.20 at 6:50 pm

411 billion

#150 DM in C on 11.23.20 at 6:52 pm

New deficit? $394.2B

#151 Mr Happy on 11.23.20 at 6:53 pm

419 Billion

#152 Bezengy on 11.23.20 at 6:54 pm

Who’s numbers are we using?, the PBO or the standard liberal pick a number out of a hat? I’ll go with 666 B, but the devil is in the details.

#153 Lambchop on 11.23.20 at 6:55 pm

Trump administration has conceded

Also, there will be no deficit because, you know…budgets are self-balancing, but really more like $536 billion.

#154 Penny Henny on 11.23.20 at 6:55 pm


#155 C V on 11.23.20 at 6:55 pm

420billion blaze it justin

#156 alex6 on 11.23.20 at 6:58 pm

467 G$

#157 LuckySOB on 11.23.20 at 6:58 pm


#158 Justin Morneau on 11.23.20 at 6:59 pm

600 Billion Dollars. Massive daily interest on the debt being added to the bill for young and future Canadians.

#159 jal on 11.23.20 at 7:00 pm

“So here’s your assignment. What will be the new deficit number? Post your estimate.”

There will not be a deficit number.
The expenses will be balance by income from many sources that we cannot imagine.

#160 Long-Time Lurker on 11.23.20 at 7:03 pm

>Reality Check.

Joe Biden struggles to operate autocue
565,088 views•Nov 21, 2020

Sky News Australia

#161 Thomas on 11.23.20 at 7:06 pm

Since Cynthia and T2 will perform the great reset, the new number will be….. ZERO

#162 Jordan on 11.23.20 at 7:08 pm


#163 active on 11.23.20 at 7:12 pm

1 trillion dollars…

#164 Moonshine on 11.23.20 at 7:13 pm

I’ll go for 399 B

#165 Dog Breath on 11.23.20 at 7:15 pm

” …after age 71. That’s apparently when men reach their sexual peak. Or die trying.”
Actually it’s age 77 but the problem is all the women I know are no longer interested! Bummer!

#166 Leftover on 11.23.20 at 7:15 pm

There will be no “number”, it will be a range.

#167 Teetime on 11.23.20 at 7:17 pm

The economic update is bring delivered on a Monday, will be more in the media and public eye than if doing this on a Friday, quite brave. Chrystia will give us $418 billion deficit, but later it will come out that it’s actually $473 billion. Submitting the first number for this fun contest!

#168 Dr. Evil on 11.23.20 at 7:18 pm

$1 million billion jillion kazillion dollars.

Sad part is that I’ll probably win.

#169 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.23.20 at 7:19 pm


The topic of the Guest Greaterfool blog will be:
“Conjugal visits with the ex-President or divorce?”

#170 TurnerNation on 11.23.20 at 7:20 pm

– What I mean about every system designed to protect us has been turned against us…look at this.
Have an urgent medical issue? Call 911 and get in line behind the Karens.
They are doing this on purpose – for complete breakdown of our minds and society.
Oh sorry this is about a virus?
Ah the magical and scientific 6-6-6 feet apart, 6 people. You get the idea:

“Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people
s no different than what happens if there’s a party down the street and it’s keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it’s too noisy. This is just like that. It’s like a violation of a noise ordinance.””

— the UBI meter just notched a new High. Q1 2021 seems about right.
Not only here but in every country. Same thing is unfolding.

“The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) are pushing the government to allow non-essential retailers to open, saying the lockdown threatens the survival of many small businesses that depend on the busy holiday shopping season.”

#171 MAN OF THE CLOTH on 11.23.20 at 7:21 pm

I’m tinking 515 billion.
Lord help my kids.

#172 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 11.23.20 at 7:31 pm

If everybody gets a “pony” the tally estimate is very close to a Trillion. Canada has had to identify themselves on the world stage and now we have really arrived BIG Time.

#173 Deaficit on 11.23.20 at 7:32 pm

868.4 Billion but wait I am pretty sure someone said it will balance itself so does it really matter?

#174 Drill Baby Drill on 11.23.20 at 7:33 pm

“That’s apparently when men reach their sexual peak.” Ooops I peaked really early.

#175 BC Renovator on 11.23.20 at 7:35 pm


#176 yvroptimist on 11.23.20 at 7:35 pm


I know, I’m not the first one to say that, but I’m surprised there aren’t nearly as many lower suggestions. Who knows? The Liberals might have actually spent a lot less money than they expected.

Could happen. And while I’m wishing I would like a pony. And world peace.

#177 Faron on 11.23.20 at 7:36 pm

#139 Michael on 11.23.20 at 6:32 pm

don’t forget we have to bail out the airlines!

All two of them? Sure, they are important for our economy, but it’s hard to feel sorry for Canada’s oligopolies if/when they fall on hard times after decades of massive default market share. At least Air Canada doesn’t have a dividend.

#178 Dr. Bob on 11.23.20 at 7:36 pm

590 Billion

#179 Drill Baby Drill on 11.23.20 at 7:41 pm

I say it will be 6.5 x 10^8 CAD
I will decline any winnings

#180 Insufferable Tyler on 11.23.20 at 7:44 pm

The deficit will be 456.78 billion

#181 S.Bby on 11.23.20 at 7:46 pm

The budget will balance itself.

Oh, wait a minute …

#182 Ju-uhh-uhh-uhh-stin Blackface on 11.23.20 at 7:48 pm


The budget will balance itself.

#183 Amok on 11.23.20 at 7:50 pm

$423 Billion

#184 COW MAN on 11.23.20 at 7:52 pm

$649 Billion has a familiar ring to it. T2 will need a lottery win every week just to carry the interest payments.

#185 Jake Trumper on 11.23.20 at 7:56 pm

Someone else already got my number of 545 billion, so I will go with 554 billion. Of course we will not know the real number until much after the end of the fiscal year because Chrystia will lie (why change now) and Mr. Dressup will not have a clue what the number is and doesn’t care anyways.
Back in April, Bill Morneau was grilled by a Senate committee and ran around in circles and would not give a straight answer on anything. A frustrated Manitoba Senator said he had a number of $500 billion from a reliable source. Chateau Bill did not deny that number. There have been a whole lot of spending and new programs since then, and a lot less revenue, so it will be ugly

#186 Steven Rowlandson on 11.23.20 at 7:57 pm

” if you have trouble repaying any debt on a $200,000 household income, you’re spending too damn much on frills like children. Buck up. Do a budget.”

Children are not frills Garth. They are the future of the nation and its people. Home prices above 3years pay at minimum wage for one person are frills for the seriously rich.

#187 Outrage on 11.23.20 at 7:57 pm

T2 wants Canada to have a debt of at least
1 trillion. Everybody will suffer in the years to come through high taxes, hyperinflation and a devalued dollar.
Thank you T2,you will always be our most admired and loved PM !

#188 JonBoy on 11.23.20 at 7:58 pm

$512 billion deficit.

#189 Nonplused on 11.23.20 at 7:58 pm

The budget will balance itself.

I’ve already commented everything I probably want to say but the free therapy sounds like something I could use.

(PS. Do we really need so many significant digits? $343.2 billion does not need the .2 or even the 3.2. $340 billion gives a good enough idea and even that is probably too precise by half.)

#190 Pat on 11.23.20 at 8:01 pm

I’m going with $450 billion. In the off chance I do ‘win’ it, I graciously decline the ‘prize’ and ask for a $100 donation to the Terry Fox Foundation.

#191 AACI Homedog on 11.23.20 at 8:02 pm


#192 adam conway on 11.23.20 at 8:04 pm

I’ll wager 740 billion. A billion here and a billion there, pretty soon your talking real money…. Cheers

#193 Faron on 11.23.20 at 8:05 pm

Interesting equity market dynamics here. Sentiment, fund flows and valuations all at or approaching two year highs. Vaccine, Trump almost conceding, US cases maybe topping out, maybe a stimulus sooner than later. Lots of believing and good feelings. Just have to rotate out of tech into the laggards, right? At the same time, many of these indicators usually signal tops before corrections. Not that you should be considering such things when saving for retirement…

Any other takes out there?

#194 Robert Ash on 11.23.20 at 8:06 pm

488, the LPC, will try to grab a few atta boys for limiting spending to under the 500 B .. half T… My owe my!

#195 Albertaguy (lockeddown) in AB on 11.23.20 at 8:08 pm

If the July estimate was 343B before CERB extensions and before CRB and before purchasing VACINNES and before the 2nd wave and before buying rapid tests and before approving more emergency rent programs and … and … and …

Better double it… 686B.

If I am closest I will offer up the prize to the blogdog who will donate the most to their local SPCA before Dec 25, 2020. Bids starts at $200 CAD.

#196 Binder Dundat on 11.23.20 at 8:11 pm


Yore welcome.

#197 Arun on 11.23.20 at 8:17 pm

Deficit: $400 Billion…

Looking forward to see who gets it right!

#198 Tom from Mississauga on 11.23.20 at 8:20 pm

I’m going with $585B

#199 morrey on 11.23.20 at 8:21 pm

$391 Billion

I am already in therapy!

#200 Foggy Dewhurst on 11.23.20 at 8:22 pm

he Canada Revenue Agency says it’s warning about 213,000 Canadians who may have been paid twice through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program that they could be called upon to repay the money.

Thats $426,000,000

#201 joblo on 11.23.20 at 8:22 pm

What to invest in for the GREAT RESET?
Same companies that got rich off Dalton and Kathleen?
Who’s got a connect with Butts?

#202 kommykim on 11.23.20 at 8:24 pm

1 trillion because that sounds so much “less” than 999 billion…

#203 Lake Lover on 11.23.20 at 8:33 pm

My estimate is $ 488.5 billion – and may God help us all!

#204 Dr Evil on 11.23.20 at 8:33 pm

that’s $430 BILLION DOLLARS !!!

#205 Michael Bruce Chase on 11.23.20 at 8:39 pm

Yes it will be good to see how miraculously the democrat controlled states case counts will plunge dramatically. It’s like the virus knows which states to hit and which ones to leave alone…….

#206 Kilt on 11.23.20 at 8:43 pm

$369.3 Billion.

Really, does it matter. 300, 400, 500, and in the end, nothing to show for it.


#207 Odif on 11.23.20 at 8:44 pm

888 bilion

#208 John on 11.23.20 at 8:46 pm

$475.5 Billion

A guest blog… Now that’s fun!


#209 GA on 11.23.20 at 8:47 pm

$515 billion. But she will somehow say that it is the right thing to do and is manageable. Truly hopeless!

I will decline the prize if I win as I may educate no one, turf everyone’s comments and still need a whack of therapy therapy.

#210 MadHatter on 11.23.20 at 8:49 pm

367 billion.

#211 CL on 11.23.20 at 8:52 pm

and yet, Fitch maintained a Aaa Canada credit rating just a few days ago.

#212 Leigh on 11.23.20 at 9:00 pm

Hmm. Well I asked my 8 month old black Labrador Retriever. Told her if she won she’d have yummy treats for life. Her answer was $599 Billion give or take a mil. She really didn’t takeme too seriously as deep down she knows shw gets treats for life anyways.

#213 SWL on 11.23.20 at 9:01 pm

509.4 billion

Bad bad budget you did not balance yourself

#214 Ordinary Blog Dog on 11.23.20 at 9:01 pm

It will be $680 B.

What topic would you like me to address?

#215 Tyberius on 11.23.20 at 9:02 pm

I will use real money for my calculations: gold!

If I’m correct (+/- 1%)

Canada’s deficit will be 8,455 metric tons. Someone here actually used the $ number I was thinking so I had to make conversions.

If I win, I will not DELETE any posts BTW

#216 SWL on 11.23.20 at 9:05 pm

Hey wait a minute I remember hearing Justin tell us that Ottawa went into debt so we didn’t have to…

Does that mean I am off the hook?

#217 Regjeg on 11.23.20 at 9:06 pm


#218 UDAR on 11.23.20 at 9:06 pm

433.1 Billion.

And God bless you for paying for the therapy!

I am getting started writing my column right now…

PS. BTW TurnerNation you are deleted.

#219 Garth's Son Drake on 11.23.20 at 9:11 pm

The number they will announce next week which is a lie:


Dominion voting systems apparently in our elections. Someone might want to actually investigate the way they are engineered and maybe, just maybe consider North American technology in the future.

Doubt it though. It is all pay to play.

#220 lifexprt on 11.23.20 at 9:13 pm

$455 billion

#221 Janet Yellen on 11.23.20 at 9:19 pm

I’mmmmmmm baaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkk ;)

Sincerely, Low Rates, Negative Rates Forever.

#222 WUL on 11.23.20 at 9:24 pm

Whatever the deficit may be, it’s a certainty it will be lower than the cost of therapy to effectively alleviate the effects of moderating this pathetic blog for 24 hours.


ps. Hi Flop.

#223 Nicolas L on 11.23.20 at 9:29 pm


#224 Friend of the Mayor on 11.23.20 at 9:37 pm

504,000,000,000.00 or 503,991,000,000.00 less the 9 million Joe Biden is worth.

#225 theflatplaces on 11.23.20 at 9:38 pm

499 Billion

#226 Baadshah on 11.23.20 at 9:40 pm

$444 billion

Thanks Garth.. can’t wait to write a guest column on this blog for Dec 5th.

#227 NS in Calgary on 11.23.20 at 9:43 pm

My guess: $427B

#228 NorthernBrewer on 11.23.20 at 9:44 pm

$C437.6 Billion

#229 Gogo on 11.23.20 at 9:44 pm

Two thirds of people in USA are not getting vaccinated anytime soon. Here probably 50% and they are dead serious about it. Ready to forgo travelling and do home schooling. The airlines will cave. There will be lawsuits. I know they are private companies but they got bailed with public money. Or i forgot ot doesn’t matter

#230 Jay Murray on 11.23.20 at 9:46 pm


#231 N on 11.23.20 at 9:49 pm

578 billion.

#232 Faron on 11.23.20 at 9:54 pm

#160 Long-Time Lurker on 11.23.20 at 7:03 pm

Sky News Australia

Oh, surprise, another Rupert Murdoch media outlet. Between the NY Post, Fox News and Sky News Aus. you’ve got a real nice international and diverse media diet there.

#233 Wicked as it seems on 11.23.20 at 10:01 pm

440 billion

#234 Prussian Blue on 11.23.20 at 10:03 pm

$495 billion
that’s not too bad, it’s only $13000 per canadian
it’s just the price of 1 car company…tesla

#235 Mike E on 11.23.20 at 10:04 pm

With sadness, I am throwing out a prediction of $538 Billion.

#236 Stv on 11.23.20 at 10:06 pm

424 Big one

#237 Dragonslayer on 11.23.20 at 10:10 pm

$389.4 billion

#238 JJ on 11.23.20 at 10:24 pm


Let’r rip!

#239 Hairhead on 11.23.20 at 10:25 pm

Deficit 428.3 billion.

Column? No problem.

Comments section? If you let me answer (privately) the ones I delete and ban. I have more than a few selected words and phrases for them . . .

#240 NV landlord, no more on 11.23.20 at 10:29 pm

Sadly, $789B

#241 Looney Baloney on 11.23.20 at 10:31 pm

666.66 Billion

To infinity and beyond!

#242 Holland Oates on 11.23.20 at 10:38 pm

Let’s go with $619 billion…

#243 Ronaldo on 11.23.20 at 10:52 pm

Very interesting video on Japan.

#244 Ernesto Salvi on 11.23.20 at 11:06 pm


#245 Urban Dweller on 11.23.20 at 11:10 pm

$423 Billion

#246 TANSTAAFL on 11.23.20 at 11:15 pm

$381.6 Billion

#247 Km on 11.23.20 at 11:19 pm

One zillion dollars.

#248 VicPaul on 11.23.20 at 11:22 pm

Looking into the mystic I see….a staggering 538 billion dollar debt….Yikes!


#249 Flamed out in Kitchener on 11.23.20 at 11:22 pm

My guess … $397.7 Big ones! Not that it matters anymore, because, …well, … there’s that new math and all.

#250 YVR bear on 11.23.20 at 11:23 pm

I’ll bet on a deficit of 380 billions.

#251 Upenuff on 11.23.20 at 11:25 pm

here we go! Right up Schitt’s creek with two broken paddles….

496 Billion Canadian dollars…….

#252 Stan Brooks on 11.23.20 at 11:31 pm

#187 Outrage on 11.23.20 at 7:57 pm
T2 wants Canada to have a debt of at least
1 trillion. Everybody will suffer in the years to come through high taxes, hyperinflation and a devalued dollar.
Thank you T2,you will always be our most admired and loved PM !

You numbers need significant upward revision.

The federal debt alone is over 1 trillion already and predicted to be over 1.426 trillion in March 2021.

We all know that it will be higher due to constantly revised upwards deficit, with very realistic chance of hitting 2 trillion next year. Federal debt alone. Add to that the provincial debt and then the record private debt.

The picture is not pretty.

All this debt is combined with expected shrinkage of GDP of 12 % + this year alone.

The biggest problem is the constant tax revenue shrinkage with all those struggling small businesses. The budget relies mainly on labour and small businesses taxation and that is doomed due to overwhelmed consumers, lost forever jobs and capped wages.

Less money in the pocket, much higher prices.

No idea how the geniuses plan to pay for all those projected programs – universal pharma care, universal income etc. with almost no economic activity but primarily money printing?

The journalist/writer in charge of finance obviously thinks that printing a few trillions as a start will solve all the problems.

Buckle up folks,


#253 Your PM on 11.23.20 at 11:35 pm

There is no budget silly!
Just get a credit card like me that somehow gets paid at the end of the month. Isnt that how it works? You dont actually have to pay for it. It just magically goes away. Super fun, so awesome. You guys should get one too.

But seriously…1.1 trillion. Just so i can read all the deletes

#254 Calladan on 11.23.20 at 11:42 pm

Deficit projection : $ 550 billion. Of which $100 billion will be coached in terms of new giveaways for new spending. Ou

2) Real estate is not a line item on a balance sheet listed as net worth. It is not a fungible asset and as such is not “net worth”. Try applying for a margin account at a brokerage using real estate as net worth. The smart money says “not”. 50% shaved right off the top.

3) You really won’t like what I have to say as guest columnist. The truth is way uglier than current headlines. Prepare yourself.

4) Buying across the trough of this U’ish recovery has been a classic barn burner profit machine. Having bought more shares has created more income to buy more shares on sale and that creates more shares to have more cash more buying shares at lower prices, oh baby. Even with the index at ex-equivelant most shares are not at all time highs but growing at an increasing beta. My read: individual shares in durables, discretionary, energy and finance have a long way to go. Yum !!

#255 Tyler Durden on 11.23.20 at 11:42 pm

$361 Bn in the pot for the deficit.

#256 Jon on 11.23.20 at 11:43 pm

329 Billion

#257 Stan Brooks on 11.23.20 at 11:45 pm

BTW why is HELOC at 3 % + when interest rates are at zero?

Apparently there are those who are connected/the banks who can borrow at zero and then loan to the consumers at much higher rates.

How much is the interest on credit card payments again? 18 %, 25 %?

Shouldn’t BoC lend directly to the consumers vs. their friends from the banks?

Let’s see how many skins can be taken off this broken and hungry sheeple.

#258 H Squared on 11.23.20 at 11:48 pm

$445 Billion :-(

#259 Allan on 11.23.20 at 11:52 pm

$521 billion, but then again, who’s counting?

#260 Hans on 11.23.20 at 11:54 pm

$357 billion or (5.5 trillion Mexican Pesos)

#261 KG on 11.23.20 at 11:54 pm

Vicarious fun.

#262 Duffy on 11.24.20 at 12:18 am

474.7 billion

#263 Chih Chou on 11.24.20 at 12:24 am

Deficit of $485 B

#264 Barb on 11.24.20 at 12:26 am

“don’t forget we have to bail out the airlines!”

Nope, that won’t count toward the deficit.
Govt will take shares in the airline(s), meaning taxpayer money will be paid back into gov’t coffers.

Coff…coff (cough)

#265 Don on 11.24.20 at 12:32 am

Garth, they will not tell the real deficit, debt numbers. Anyway you look at it by the next 1 to 18 months 1 trillion is added to the National Canada debt. Garth, Canada is in serious financial trouble and crippling poverty for us all this is not like Pierre Elliot Trudeau when Canada had no debt until adding 180 billion+ and now where we are on our way for a $2 trillion dollar debt in coming years.

Canadians are so dumbed down especially when it comes to basic economics and finances of local to provincial to Federal and even personal to global.

#266 Jon B on 11.24.20 at 12:34 am

Bob, I’ll bid $437.1 billion for that Canadian deficit.

#267 Shannon on 11.24.20 at 12:35 am

The new deficit number will be… $Vague$. Politicians have always struggled with adding up the true costs associated with empty promises.

Please tell us about your guess and reasoning sometime soon!

Such a great bit of fun for the end of the day, thank you :)

#268 Sask to AB on 11.24.20 at 12:40 am

$412 billion

#269 Northshoreeng on 11.24.20 at 12:41 am

Lots of like-minded guesses


#270 Luddite on 11.24.20 at 12:44 am

Ahhh, brilliant Garth! Way to Copperfield the negative steerage section, thank you, please keep up your great work.

#271 Frank on 11.24.20 at 12:46 am

This is to Chrystia Freeland, Justin Trudeau, since budgets balance themselves and the Liberal Party of Canada is the party of no limits, just give everyone $10 million dollars and let it be.

We all know the Liberal Party of Canada the poverty makers not the poverty reducers. Devalue the money we all know it is done.

#272 Potato on 11.24.20 at 12:49 am

I will hazard a guess at 365M which I don’t think has been taken yet (though I saw a few 369s).

#273 Loonie Coder on 11.24.20 at 12:50 am

$569 billion.

#274 FlyEverything on 11.24.20 at 12:58 am

$398.6 billion – in reality it will be over 400, but T2 will use creative bookkeeping to keep the first number a 3 for appearance sake.

#275 Drunken Stupor on 11.24.20 at 1:09 am

$666 bln

#276 Jeff on 11.24.20 at 1:33 am

$424 billion.

#277 conan on 11.24.20 at 1:47 am

2020 deficit will ring in around 440 B
2021 deficit will ring in around 220 B

#278 Deany on 11.24.20 at 2:02 am

737 Billion.

#279 Buy? Curious? on 11.24.20 at 2:08 am

Garth! Are you serious? If I correctly predict the deficit, I get to write a blog post? Are you sure? Remember when I correctly called the price of that house a few years ago? I got goosebumps just from you mentioning my anonymous handle! Are cute, naive, sexy Canadians ready to hear about using debt as a tool change society? I mean, if even a FEW people stop paying their debts, can you imagine the disruption? Woohoo! Ok, here it goes, my prediction and a bonus:

$637 billion!

Bonus – no one gets charged in any form corruption!

*Long Live SMOKING MAN! The greatest example of a loser! Let his life be reminder how NOT to live! (Anybody care for an alcoholic drink?)

#280 Bill on 11.24.20 at 2:10 am

Their just going to bullshit the number because lord help us if we ever got the truth.
I watched T2 the idiot on you tube mash the gas and tell the reporter “dude we are at historical lows in int rates worry NOT!”
He never answered the Q on how the hell to get out of the black hole. Obviously hes not listening to you Garth. You use these ULTRA low rates to blast your principle….
Not T2, putting us as the highest indebted developed nation on the planet ! Tard…

$539bil and 10cents but irreverent if their making it up.

As for me best year (but weird)…business rocking it, cash flow, no debt. Just pissed I cant hop on a plane and buzz off for a while.

Its not going to end well.

#281 The Awakened One on 11.24.20 at 2:16 am

$ 512 Billion Garth: I’m all in.

Fore warning: As a columnist, and I’m posting all funny pups photos for 12 hrs straight, then paparazzi shots of you cozying up with some fluffy cats recently…

#282 SoggyShorts on 11.24.20 at 2:36 am

I’d like to bid whatever TN guessed + $1

If that’s not a choice then $421B

#283 Greg on 11.24.20 at 2:50 am

$430 billion

#284 eli on 11.24.20 at 2:50 am


#285 rumplelstiltskin on 11.24.20 at 2:58 am

$405 billion cdn

#286 Hugh Laurie on 11.24.20 at 3:48 am

785 billion

#287 Sky on 11.24.20 at 4:46 am

“Lighten up”, says Garth. Sure thing. Great advice.

To our grand prize winner — In the unlikely event you’re stuck for subject matter — I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

(General Interest Topics) :

• Lockdowns …. Why selling my children into slavery wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. You should ALWAYS try muzzles first. Bonus — Important first aid tips on how to survive a tasering after inviting another family member into your home.

• Work From Home …. How often do I REALLY need to change my undies & are breakfast martinis such a hot idea? — Why weed is better.

• Remote Learning …. Parents – Don’t despair! Nintendo & Playstation truly ARE improving your child’s reading & math skills.

• Doctor Google …. Why seeing my own doctor in the flesh was icky and a really dumb idea in the first place. Plus — Discover the joys of cyberchondria.

• Global Warming …. Stunning new evidence for why you simply must hate carbon ‼ An exciting & shocking must read for beginners ‼

Teaser — ” The extremely dangerous & irreversible effects of a recently discovered intersection between the diffusion coefficient values of CO2 with the horrific conflicting pressure from covalent bonds of other atmospheric gasses & in conjunction with sea surface oscillations and the ph adjusted scale of …zzzzzzzzz

(Political Controversy) :

• Internet & TV Censorship …. The pros & cons of smoke signals and why the jet stream gets them from Vancouver to Ottawa faster than the internet.

• Green New Deal …. How freezing in a dark, 100 square foot condo WILL improve your life. Bonus — How to build your own peat fire plus best medications for lung issues.

• Confessions of a Conspiracy Theorist …. How I gave up my critical thinking & learned to love the Flu World Order.

• TREXIT …. Trump is GONE ‼ But I still have my TDS hate. What now?? A 10 step program for relationship recovery.

( Red Hot Button Issues ) …vaccines,masks, global reset:

Do not even go there! Obviously. Duh.


Now that was some good, fun therapy. And it frees up my next shrink appt. Any takers? :-)

#288 Doomsday Prepar on 11.24.20 at 5:43 am

I will guess 435 billion. Guest blog will concentrate on the scam that is our stock market.

#289 Diamond Dog on 11.24.20 at 7:00 am


#290 Can’t wait to moderate on 11.24.20 at 7:03 am


#291 theoryAndPractice on 11.24.20 at 7:32 am

C$ 475B

BTW, my predictions back in Feb, are in the making:

#292 Red Knave on 11.24.20 at 7:39 am

$456 B

I’m really hoping I don’t come 2nd.

#293 Sunny South on 11.24.20 at 7:46 am

The official estimated deficit will be 352 billion as they will report that not all monies included in the previous estimate were claimed/paid out.
My guest column will simply be a one sentence question with no comments about Covid being allowed. Unrelated comments that cause laughter will be allowed, i.e. Sail always “got life for poaching beaver” etc.
Oh and btw Quantas Airlines just announced that they will require proof of Covid vaccination to be allowed on their international flights. Stay safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all you US blog dogs.

#294 Sky on 11.24.20 at 8:15 am

Whoa! Are all those bids coming from the posters who ” never read the comments”? Or has Dominion Voting taken over this forum now too? Rigged double bidding . Losers — demand an audit !

#295 Steven Rowlandson on 11.24.20 at 8:26 am

I find it outrageous that federal and provincial governments have debts and deficits at all. Clearly the powers that be have no sense of fiscal responsibility or even moral responsibility. This will not end well at all.

#296 David Hawke on 11.24.20 at 8:29 am

$499.99 Billion

#297 When Will They Raise Rates? on 11.24.20 at 8:38 am

BTC about to hit ATH

#298 SATAN on 11.24.20 at 8:42 am


#299 Bdwy on 11.24.20 at 8:47 am

288 Doomsday ….Guest blog will concentrate on the scam that is our stock market.

As of today tsla market value is about 1.2 million pet car produced.

55k avg selling price.

Makes 2000 look like childs ay.

#300 PatYXM on 11.24.20 at 8:55 am

Like in that Price is Right show, I’ll say 1$.

There is no way I’ll moderate this blog for 24 hours.

Keep up the good work.

#301 iEngineer on 11.24.20 at 9:02 am

I think around $230B – $250B

#302 East Coast Life Style on 11.24.20 at 9:10 am

#279 Buy? Curious?

I actually met Smoking Man, rest assured he could kick your ass. Talking ill of the deceased says a lot about your character, or should I say lack thereof.

#303 Sky on 11.24.20 at 9:12 am

I waited till the end to bid. I’m surprised that NOBODY guessed the winning bid yet.

No matter what the cooked numbers are… the correct answer is (past, present & future) ► 911 ◄

#304 Dharma Bum on 11.24.20 at 9:18 am


#305 Diggedy Dog on 11.24.20 at 9:20 am

Covid flies in unchecked everyday, to the applause of the Trudeau Liberals, but Trudeau penalizes Canadian businesses. What’s really going on?

Trudeau will run the deficit to One Trillion.

#306 Dmno on 11.24.20 at 9:32 am

Dr. evil accent….427 Billion dollars.

#307 twofatcats on 11.24.20 at 9:34 am

$777 billion

#308 Soggy Bottom Boomer on 11.24.20 at 9:35 am

My guess is $464,563,894,662.23

#309 Cheese on 11.24.20 at 9:39 am

“Have registered and non-registered investments totalling over $300k and contributing to 2 defined benefit pensions. Household income over $200k. Toronto detached house currently worth 1.5 million.”

Hang in there buddy. Tough times for us all! We’re all praying for you! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

#310 Still employed in AB on 11.24.20 at 9:48 am

407.3 Billion

PS Thanks for getting the comments back on track

#311 Coastal Zapper on 11.24.20 at 9:55 am

SB took my guess at 437 so I’ll go 439B

#312 Lee on 11.24.20 at 10:01 am

The Toronto Sun talking about the Great Reset too.

#313 Confusions on 11.24.20 at 10:01 am

366 B. 1 a day.

#314 millmech on 11.24.20 at 10:06 am

One trillion and one dollar

#315 Steven Rowlandson on 11.24.20 at 10:23 am

Garth here is a bit of financial news from New Zealand you might find interesting.

#316 CALEDONDAVE on 11.24.20 at 10:30 am

Deficit is $535,645,123,489.56

And the actual retail price is……

#317 Dave from St.Thomas on 11.24.20 at 10:38 am

…predicts a 419 billion dollar deficit.

…and if I win, I will abrogate my duties as a writer and instead concede the position to my long-gone-but-much-beloved Collie Fred (nipper), whom I’m sure will rail against the outrageously high cost of doggie biscuits and bemoan the lack of decent dog-park facilities everywhere!

He also can’t WAIT to start slapping his paws on the ban hammer!!!

#318 Simon on 11.24.20 at 10:39 am

563 Billion

#319 Doug in London on 11.24.20 at 10:44 am

I say 440 billion. No doubt there will be more taxes to pay at least some of this excessive debt back. One possibility, mentioned here before, is increasing the tax on capital gains above the present rate of 50%. Speaking of capital gains, I wonder how many of you here were scooping up oil companies, pipeline companies, and REITs while they were still on sale last month or earlier?

#320 JB on 11.24.20 at 11:01 am

I’m estimating $775 billion of which $500 billion will be used for T2’s socialist agenda and jets to Islands.
BTW even If my number was correct I would never want the job that Garth has on here even for one day. I don’t have enough Tylenol in the cabinet for a day like that.

#321 Dual Citizen In Canada on 11.24.20 at 11:07 am

$572,000,000,000.02 (Big Block Billion)

I like to add my 2 cents.

#322 P. Jackson on 11.24.20 at 11:14 am

The projected deficit will be

“As much as it takes, for as long as it takes.”

Later to be revised by the PBO to 420.69 billion.

As winner-elect of the contest, I will give you a hint about the topic of my column, firearms and cartridges as an investment vehicle.

As for the moderation, save your psych fees, just approve every post.

#323 Dan in Vancouver on 11.24.20 at 11:20 am


#324 fiscallyFrisky on 11.24.20 at 11:21 am

Hmmm. Guess on the Gr8 Norths deficit? I asked the glowing magic 8-ball that one and it broke. Sheesh, toys these days. But for what it is worth – 666 billion Cdn fun coupons.

#325 UtterlyConfusedCanadian on 11.24.20 at 11:28 am

Man’s sexual peak is when he can buy a lamborghini. Impotence is driving a toyota…age has nothing to do with it…

#326 Don Chogni on 11.24.20 at 11:55 am

365. Rien ne va plus.

#327 S-K on 11.24.20 at 11:59 am

Sure, I’ll play. 437 Bn
Its like the jar of jelly beans contest, no one really knows, but its going to be a lot. And theres even a prize for the winner!

#328 Kim on 11.24.20 at 12:09 pm

$438 billion

#329 Handsome Ned on 11.24.20 at 12:17 pm

I say a 300 million surplus. We now live in a bizarro fantasy land where deficits balance themselves. The debt is just like your gender, it is what ever you believe it to be.

#330 Pete on 11.24.20 at 12:31 pm


#331 Steerage on 11.24.20 at 12:47 pm

They’ll keep it “officially” below 400B, but report later it blew right past that.

Next year 225B… then 100B at least for years to come….

#332 Vinnie on 11.24.20 at 1:14 pm

423 Billion and $1 Bob.

#333 J town on 11.24.20 at 1:22 pm

$478Billion dollars (insert doctor evil pinky)

#334 slick on 11.24.20 at 1:30 pm

722 billion

#335 Left GTA on 11.24.20 at 1:33 pm

$443 Billion

#336 27leafs99 on 11.24.20 at 1:51 pm

You know the difference between a conspiracy theory and fact?

About 20 years.

#337 Mark B on 11.24.20 at 1:54 pm


#338 belly rubs on 11.24.20 at 1:59 pm

I think we will get a better product if we contract out Federal Government, and for a heck of a lot cheaper. I say we open up for bids. A couple billion would probably get us pretty decent Artificial Intelligence. We just have to agree to do what the computer says.

A computerized leader would be able to make decisions and budget adjustments in milliseconds. We would also get a clear plan and a free calendar.

“Did you get your free calendar?”

“Yeah, well, it’s something, isn’t it?”

Imagine… No more parliment or cabinets, just logic. Let us be the first post-federal state. We’ve reached a stage where other options must be considered.

#339 SimcoeCounty on 11.24.20 at 2:02 pm

$429 Billion

#340 George on 11.24.20 at 2:05 pm

what’s everyone complaining about?

ya’ll voted Trudeau in, remember?

a delayed pandemic response (deer in the headlights), gross negligence of LTC facilities , handing cheques out to anyone/everyone , and shutting small business down (a MASSIVE stream of bankrupcies)

at this point who cares what the deficit will be?

reap what u sow

#341 Faron on 11.24.20 at 2:22 pm

#338 belly rubs on 11.24.20 at 1:59 pm

I know you are kidding around, but if you want to see what machine learning does for decision making have a look at some journalism about software that recommends sentences in use in the US. Turns out the AI is as or more racist than the people who wrote the code and trained the AI. No escaping the human thumbprint as yet.

#342 Millennial 1%er on 11.24.20 at 2:23 pm

374.5 bil

#343 Ivan the Moderate on 11.24.20 at 2:26 pm

Dow just passed 30000.

#344 NotLegalAdvice on 11.24.20 at 2:45 pm

$560.25 billion

#345 Joseph Kahn on 11.24.20 at 2:50 pm

$500 Billion deficit, 1 Trillion Dollar Debt

#346 Matsebula on 11.24.20 at 2:51 pm

Garth. Wow. I am guessing $623B deficit. I hope I win. Free therapy sounds amazing… ;-)

#347 Faron on 11.24.20 at 2:51 pm

Russel 1000 equal weight caught up to cap weighted. Still, the top 10 names are 1/4 of the index, so it’s still a bit top heavy. TSLA coming in hot.

Small caps have been roaring lately. Energy, industrials, materials. Almost all of these sectors have “caught up”. REITs, airlines, banks still have a ways to go, but are ripping. Vax + Biden + seasonality = melt up.

Meanwhile, bonds are down, but not mega, so your B+D should be doing really well these days. XBAL touched YTD breakeven on Oct 30, now up 6.78% over that for an ATH.

Who knew the V would feel like this?

#348 Overheardyou on 11.24.20 at 2:51 pm

$453 billion

#349 Abolitionist on 11.24.20 at 3:01 pm

$666 billion

build back better


#350 Blessed_Canadian_Millenial on 11.24.20 at 3:04 pm

Well over $500 Billion in actual deficit, when it’s all said and done. Perhaps even closer to $600 Billion would be my guess. I’m betting it will be 10x larger than the next highest deficit.

Though, Chrystia will claim it’s $399 Billion (estimate).

More importantly: no plan on getting back to surplus / balanced budget any time soon.

#351 coop oiler on 11.24.20 at 3:06 pm

He will lie and call it only 360B

#352 vancouver help on 11.24.20 at 3:12 pm

Garth, we both know there wont be real answer oot of Chrystia.

#353 LesserApe on 11.24.20 at 3:16 pm


#354 Bucky on 11.24.20 at 3:27 pm

389.2 billion

#355 Glen Foster on 11.24.20 at 3:34 pm

Why not go for an even $500 billion?

#356 Don't Believe The Hype on 11.24.20 at 6:59 pm

$456 billion

#357 rodney knopp on 11.24.20 at 8:44 pm

$498 billion. Easy peasy, as anything more might frighten people.

#358 QuebecCityOliver on 11.24.20 at 9:24 pm

$422.6 billion. Canadian.

#359 So fresh and so clean on 11.24.20 at 9:48 pm

590 billion

#360 JfromH on 11.24.20 at 9:50 pm

$417.8 Billion

#361 Freewheelin on 11.24.20 at 11:04 pm

573 Billion.

#362 morrey on 11.24.20 at 11:16 pm

Yeah for Yellen! Give us boring!
And able, proficient, & accomplished.

Yes give us boring

#363 april on 11.25.20 at 2:23 am

Vancouver real estate: [email protected]

#364 Calgary Cowboy on 11.25.20 at 9:50 am

$472B. Thanks for the daily knowledge sharing G-Money!

#365 steve young on 11.25.20 at 9:56 am


#366 The Watcher ... Seventh Post on 11.25.20 at 12:35 pm

I predict the deficit at $666 billion and 66 cents.
The devil made me do it.

#367 Darren Tanyo on 11.25.20 at 1:09 pm

Stan Brooks, oh you thought the Bank of Canada is for your benefit or works for you. It is not for us, it is not for the country, it is not for people, not for consumers, it is nor for me or anybody else.

It is for the money makers, money printers, money shufflers, money takers, money confiscators. You see the scam was easily setup, work hard, save get 10%, 9%, 18%, 7%, 5% etc. interest and then when you have 30, 40 years worth they give you, us, everyone peanuts, 0.10%, 0.5%, 0.90%, 1.25%, 1.5%, 1.79%, 1.90, 2.0% like savings accounts, GIC’s, term deposits, government bonds etc.

Thieves come in many forms. Now, they are out in full force. There is always an excuse from fudging numbers that don’t exist like deflation to housing crash, debt levels they engineered to 911 etc. etc. There is a time to plant, there is a time to sow, time to harvest. Get my drift, ripoff the idiots now it is covid time. Don’t let the best crisis opportunity go to waste.

#368 Shaun on 11.25.20 at 1:59 pm

$369 billion

#369 missihippi on 11.27.20 at 9:30 am