Transfer Payments

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Why Ontario Should Stop Demanding Money From the Federal Government

Instead of demanding more money from the federal government, Ontario could a) cut provincial spending or b) reform everything from labour laws to regulation to tax policy and electricity policy, to unleash the economy and thus produce more at-home tax revenue or c) both. Ontario should not expect continued billions in annual equalization payments. While the exact decline in equalization is unknown -- it depends on how badly the resource economies and their provincial treasuries are hit -- Ontario should face reality and act accordingly.
CP

The Stories Politicians Tell Themselves Are Rarely True

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's "Have Not" Status Creates a Divided Canada

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.