OTTAWA, Ont. – As of 11:19 p.m. Saturday, Canada’s federal debt will hit $600-billion, and some groups are calling on the feds to stop the debt digging.

In 2008, the Harper government ended the trend of chipping away at our debt, and over the past four years, has put Canada an additional $142.4-billion in the red.

“This is more than the entire combined budgets for unemployment insurance, maternity and parental benefits, child tax credit and the universal child tax benefit combined,” said the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Gregory Thomas.

He explained that the interest alone could fund significant social programs, while $600-billion could pay for the annual NHL budget for 187 years – even extending Sidney Crosby’s contract for close to 70,000 years.

In addition, he said the government has yet to fulfill the promise of trimming the financial fat, and since the recession hit, the government has erased a decades worth of progress at reducing the red ink.

“How many programs has this government cut since taking office seven years ago? Katimavik – one useless program,” he said. “Canada’s national debt is now rising at a rate of $863.26 a second, $74.6-million a day.”   

Thomas is calling on the federal government to stop the deficit spending, balance the budgets and begin paying down the debt like they initially promised. If not, he said we are simply throwing our money down the drain and the situation will continue to decline over the next five years.