Provincial Finances Are Much Worse Than Reported

Oh, joy:

The official balance sheets of provinces across the country mask billions of dollars in debt related to a series of megaproject follies being pursued by provincial governments and government-owned power utilities. While their debt doesn’t officially appear on provincial balance sheets, taxpayers will be left footing the bill when the electricity rates needed to pay them off become so economically crippling and politically unpalatable that they will require a bailout.

A chorus of auditors general and ratings agencies have questioned this trend of masking liabilities, but have seen their warnings ignored by political leaders determined to bury the risk of pet megaprojects.