High Canadian debt levels will make it more difficult for Canada to deal with a looming global recession in 2019, according to Gluskin Sheff + Associates chief economist and strategist David Rosenberg.

“Nothing is inevitable, but the risks of recession for Canada for next year are higher than a lot of people think,” Rosenberg said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Andrew McCreath.

Canadians currently owe about $2.2.-trillion in total debt, up by nearly a trillion dollars in just the last decade, Rosenberg said. As interest rates rise, Rosenberg warned that higher debt servicing costs could shave as much as 75 basis points off Canadian 2019 GDP growth.

“This drag on debt service, just for the household sector is going to drain GDP next year,” he said.

Canada’s economic growth will also be hit by weakness in the oil and auto sectors, slumping stocks and housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver as well as a slowing global economy, he added.

“All the shocks to the Canadian economy are to the downside,” Rosenberg said.

The recession will likely be mild – and not just limited to Canada – with markets signaling a potential recession in the U.S. and abroad, Rosenberg said.

The recent election of a Conservative government in Ontario may make it more difficult for Canadian policymakers to work together to jumpstart Canada’s economy, he said.

“The fiscal side will be a wash. There will be stimulus from Ottawa, restraint out of Queen’s Park (in Ontario),” said Rosenberg.