Many Albertans have long complained that Canada’s equalization system isn’t there for them when their province goes through an economic bust. But a University of Calgary economist says calls for reform should be focused, instead, on a lesser known federal program of wealth distribution. “What Albertans should really complain about is the fiscal stabilization program, […]
Trevor Tombe is an associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary, and a research fellow at the School of Public Policy. Financial transfers from Ottawa – and the provinces’ disputes over them – are central to the Canadian experience. They are a key reason why our country exists at all, but also a […]
The federal equalization program is up for review this year, and the University of Toronto Press has published a timely new book on the subject: Fiscal Federalism and Equalization Policy in Canada. While the authors defend equalization transfer payments to poorer, have-not provinces, many of the facts that they report confirm that politics and partisan […]
Each year, in mid-December, the federal government releases its calculation for what each province is entitled to receive as equalization. This time, the numbers are especially important. They show how much Alberta’s recession lowered its ability to raise revenues. They show Ontario has graduated to “have” status, but (interestingly) will still receive equalization payments. They […]
Get ready for it. Canada’s equalization formula is up for renewal this year. And there is a lot to debate – like Quebec getting more than half of all equalization, Ontario being considered a “have-not” province, and the perception of a vastly disproportionate outflow of money from Alberta.