Stephen Harper: Equalization Payment Plan Likely To See Few Changes When It Expires In 2014

CP  |  By Posted: 05/11/2012 4:16 pm Updated: 05/11/2012 6:08 pm

Stephen Harper Equalization Payments
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he doesn't anticipate major changes coming to the federal equalization program, which expires in two years. (CP/Getty)

EDMUNDSTON, N.B. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he doesn't anticipate major changes coming to the federal equalization program, which is set to expire in two years.

The federal-wealth sharing program is set to end in 2014, and provincial governments are positioning themselves now to negotiate a new deal.

After a local funding announcement Friday in Edmundston, N.B., Harper was asked whether he felt a national debate on equalization was needed.

"There is always a debate on equalization," he quipped. "I've never seen it stop at any point in my political life."

The program, which is worth $15.4 billion this fiscal year, is meant to ensure all Canadians have access to comparable public services wherever they live. Six provinces are collecting equalization this year: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

"We're in discussion with the provinces about their various preferences — on which the provinces are not of a single mind," Harper said.

"I don't anticipate major changes to the program as we move forward."

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  • What Each Province Gets In Equalization

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization_payments_in_Canada#Regional_fiscal_disparities_in_Canada" target="_hplink">Here's how much money each province will receive in equalization payments during the 2013-2014 year.</a> Source: <a href="http://www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/eqp-eng.asp">Department of Finance</a>. (Alamy)

  • P.E.I. - $340 Million

    Per capita: $2,350 (MICHEL VIATTEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nova Scotia - $1.458 Billion

    Per capita: $1,342 (Tim BREAKMEIE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New Brunswick - $1.513 Billion

    Per capita: $1,985 (Luke Pinneo/Getty Images)

  • Manitoba - $1.792 Billion

    Per capita: $1,353 (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jezz/">Flickr: Jezz's Photostream</a>

  • Ontario - $3.169 Billion

    Per capita: $246 (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Quebec - $7.833 Billion

    Per capita: $934 (Alamy)

  • Newfoundland And Labrador - No Payments

    (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/60548141@N00/" target="_hplink">Flickr: magnolia1000</a>)

  • B.C. - No Payments

  • Alberta - No Payments

    (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Saskatchewan - No Payments

    (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/justaprairieboy/">Flickr: Just a Prairie Boy's photostream</a>)

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Filed by Michael Bolen  |