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Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont attends a campaign event in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kelly Malone)

The leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party has written to the prime minister to ask for a massive debt relief program for individuals and governments across Canada.

Dougald Lamont says the federal government should have the Bank of Canada guarantee or assume much of the trillions of dollars of debt held by people and provinces.

Lamont says many people are facing crushing debt loads and provincial governments are paying a lot of interest on their debts.

He says debt forgiveness would be a way to rejuvenate the economy and prevent bankruptcies.

A retired economics professor at Carleton University, however, says the idea would likely lead to a dramatic rise in inflation.

Nick Rowe says the Bank of Canada would have to print a lot of money to wipe out so much debt, and that would destroy its ability to keep inflation rates on target.