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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: Equalization is broken, and the federal government is complicit in perpetuating a system of support to provinces that is unequal, unfair and unreasonable

Quebec to receive $1.4-billion equalization boost while oil-producing provinces face deficits
Justin Tang/The Canadian Press ~~ Bill Curry/Globe & Mail ~~ December 9, 2018

Quebec will receive $13.1-billion in equalization payments next year – a $1.4-billion increase – while Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador continue to be left out even though Canada’s oil-producing provinces are facing deficits and hard times.

The equalization system is … aimed at ensuring provinces can provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation … it is a frequent source of tension between the “have” provinces and the “have not” provinces that receive the payments.

The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador – where government finances are heavily influenced by the state of the energy sector – are all running budget deficits … in contrast, Quebec’s government announced last month that the province’s finances for the year were sitting at a $3-billion surplus …

CLICK HERE to read full story

Equalization is broken. The federal government is complicit in perpetuating a system of support to provinces that is unequal, unfair and unreasonable.

The equalization formula was due to expire March 31, 2019, and it followed that there should have been extensive consultation with provinces prior to renewal. Instead the federal government extended the formula to 2024 under its June 2014 Budget Implementation Act.

Debates over equalization payments are never easy.  Many, especially in the west, were pushing for changes, but this debate ended before it even began. The government avoided controversy by ducking its responsibility to treat provinces equally and fairly.

Actions speak louder than words and this action is not acceptable. Our federal government is too timid to exercise its authority and build the pipelines we need to market our resources. Pretending that its reluctance is a result of its commitment to fight climate change is ridiculous. The world is not reducing carbon emissions to meet Paris Agreement targets.

It is delusional for our government to believe that it is, and that Canada can contribute significantly to reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Common sense and critical analysis are not government strong points. We deserve better. 

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


  1. Equalization is about incomes, not outcomes. Since AB, SK, and NL already have more than enough revenue to meet the national standards in Equalization on their own, what's unfair about it?

    1. How about the fact that Quebec goes stupid in debt -- still manages to have a balanced budget -- and yet still receives a ridiculous amount from the Equalization Fund. That makes no sense at all. And then there's the fact they vehemently oppose the very resource development projects that provides them with billions in Equalization payments ... that's disgusting.

  2. Here's the telling tale of STUPIDITY from October 2017 ... Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre celebrated the Energy East (cancellation) announcement on Thursday, suggesting that citizen groups and local politicians from the Montreal-area played a key role in putting a stop to the project.


  3. Equalization rewards incompetence. NB receives 30 % of their annual budget from equalization. Why risk anything? By the way...P.E.T when making up the equalization formula left out Quebec's income from ALL of their hydro electric business from the formula. Of course eastern Canada is in no hurry to update anything.
    The elephant in the room is western separation.

  4. That call seems to be getting louder and louder once again ... and all because of another individual named Trudeau


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