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The question we should be asking is: How can we create the best conditions for Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs to create jobs and wealth? My approach is not to impose Ottawa's will on the provinces, but rather to reform the equalization program so that it provides the right incentives for economic development. I will respect the provinces and our Constitution.
Before using the threat of equalization payments as a "poke in the ribs" to provinces such as British Columbia and Quebec, perhaps the petroleum industry should rethink its own dependency on subsidies. It should be aware that it, too, is vulnerable to budgetary policy.
Industry group says it's just trying to "push buttons."
The party says it wants all Canadians to get a fair shake.
The finance minister said infrastructure investments could help Alberta as oil prices fall.
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Alberta and Saskatchewan, despite being hit by oil prices, will continue to pay into the program as "have" provinces.
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Western Canada's oil price nightmare could have a significant financial impact on provinces with little or no oil wealth, a University of Alberta economics professor says. That's because the massive...
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"If you can't deal with some of these issues in a federal election, then when can you? So on this issue I don't agree with the prime minister.''
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Ontario, as with many governments, is lucky its debt interest payments are not substantially higher given its almost doubled debt. That has everything to do with historically low interest rates. But luck is not a long-term strategy for governments -- at least not ones that prefer prudence over accidental fiscal offerings.
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By placing bans and moratoria on fracking, governments in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have essentially stopped pursuing socially and environmentally responsible onshore natural resource development, even though jobs and extra tax revenues are sorely needed in the region.
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant seems poised to follow through on a campaign promise to institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. News reports suggest he'll implement that moratorium before Christmas. Quite a lump of coal for the people of his province in need of additional jobs and higher incomes.
TORONTO - The federal government says Ontario will receive an additional $1.25 billion in transfers from Ottawa next year.Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the province will receive more than $...
Bob Rae and Kathleen Wynne are hardly the only (former and current) politicians to engage in storytelling. Politicians of every partisan stripe do the same thing. But while stories are useful and guide us in a variety of beneficial ways, the rational side of human nature should revisit tales now and then, especially political ones. That leads to better, smarter government. Ontario is no exception.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa complained on Thursday that the federal government underfunds Ontario. The complaint is part of a political effort by some Ontario politicians and others to distract Ontarians from the real issue: made-in-Ontario policy that is killing investment and jobs in that province and creating massive provincial deficits.
OTTAWA - Changes to the way federal transfers to provinces are calculated since the Harper government took power appear to have made Ontario a big loser under equalization programs and Alberta the big...
OTTAWA - A forthcoming new report from the parliamentary budget officer is expected to show Ottawa is shortchanging Ontario to the tune of $1.2 billion under the current system of equalization payment...
Here's a myth relevant to any musings about possible separation and one often promulgated by Quebec elites: that Quebec is not subsidized by the rest of Canada. No one, least of all anyone in Quebec, should buy the myth Quebec isn't massively subsidized by the rest of Canada. It surely is.
Dear Quebeckers: I'm not a political commentator. I don't even play one on TV. Instead, I'm an average Canadian citizen and that's why you may want to hear what I have to say about the current possib...
TORONTO - The federal government has treated Ontario unfairly by slashing $641 million in equalization payments and should make that up in Tuesday's budget, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday."There i...
Equalization is the federal government program ostensibly designed to help provinces provide roughly equal government services. Last year, Ottawa transferred $15.4 billion in equalization payments to six "poor" provinces, known as "have-nots." Ontario's entry into the equalization program back in 2009/10 -- think of a big sumo wrestler at a soup kitchen--resulted in a massive shift in dependency in Canada, and that portends future divisive debates. Now, 24.7 million people, or 71 per cent of the population live in a province that receives an equalization cheque from the federal government. This is a problem.
The contrast between the highway in New Brunswick and British Columbia is symbolic of how the federal equalization program allows recipient provinces to provide above-average benefits at the expense of taxpayers elsewhere, even to "over-equalize" in some cases.
The new head of Quebec’s oil and gas lobby has compared Quebec to a social assistance recipient in a commentary criticizing the way transfer funds are meted out to provinces. Michael Binnion, head of...
Quebec gets to have a high quality of life without having to dirty its hands with things like energy and natural resource production, because Canada will make up the foregone revenues through equalization payments. But alas; with the free ride comes dependency, and eventually decay.
Live in Ontario? You may be getting ripped off by the federal government. According to a new report from the Mowat Centre, Ontario contributes $11 billion more annually to the federal government than...
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 pro...
OTTAWA - The inner workings of one of the country's biggest government programs need to be de-politicized and handed over to an arm's-length group of neutral technocrats, a new study suggests.The poli...
MONTREAL - A senior official with Quebec's massive pension-fund manager is suggesting a Canadian-style solution to help dig the European Union out of its deep financial crisis: an equalization system....