Sometimes I wonder why banks have so little concern about the indebtedness of Canadian households. Not all of them, but some of them have not expressed the kind of alarm that I see when I look at the numbers. It seems to me that's partly because banks are protected against any future serious meltdown and defaults because their largest consumer lending book is to homeowners whose mortgages are backed up by the government, and therefore the risk is really with taxpayers rather than bankers.
I'm very worried about the degree of debt we have in this country. Before the crisis we were at 356% of GDP, public and private debt combined, which is the second-highest ratio in the G7, only after Japan. That was all before COVID-19.
Do any of the witnesses want to comment on the serious possibility of some sort of debt crisis or crunch that could befall our public or private sectors as a result of those high levels of debt and the eventual and inevitable increase in interest rates in the medium term.