Bankruptcies skyrocket

Bankruptcies in Canada soared by over 50 per cent in March from a year earlier as the rising unemployment rate left more people unable to pay their bills, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada.

Although business bankruptcies declined, the skyrocketing personal declarations of insolvency, 10,578 across the country in March alone, produced a staggering overall increase. In Ontario the rate jumped 60 per cent, but the biggest year-over-year rises came from the western provinces, with Alberta’s nearly doubling and British Columbia’s up by 78.4 per cent.

In March the jobless rate rose to 8 per cent, officially, its highest level in seven years. But when discouraged workers, those waiting for a recall to work, and the involuntarily part-time are included, the real rate of unemployment across Canada is closer to 12 per cent.

A 2008 report on the financial state of Canadian households, sponsored by the Vanier Institute of the Family, warned that ‘the current recession’ would be disastrous for debt-ridden consumers. It blamed financial institutions, retailers and governments for encouraging Canadians ‘to live beyond their means’. As for the profit system with its toxic cyclical crises, its growing income inequality, and the super-rich who run it all, the Institute had nothing to say. -Barry Weisleder