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Prince Edward Island auditor general tables annual report, warns of rising debt


CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island's auditor general warned about the province's debt as he tabled his annual report today in the legislature.

Darren Noonan says the province's net debt increased by $81.5 million, for a total of $2.2 billion as of March of last year, and says it's at its highest level following reductions between 2016 and 2019.

He says the province's net-debt-to-GDP ratio is about 29 per cent, which has declined since 2016 and is lower than six other provinces, including Quebec and Ontario.

Noonan's office also reviewed the Island's international student program, which he says isn't being effectively managed. He says there is limited reporting on the program and no approved long-term plan for it.

The auditor general says only 50 per cent of his recommendations from 2018 have been implemented.

The provincial government has said the delay in implementing the recommendations is the result of outstanding upgrades to information technology, pending changes to regulations and the impact of COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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