Why Germany Shuns Canada’s Debt Model – August 21, 2012
The federal government sends transfers to poorer provincial governments, which spend the money on social programs that would otherwise be beyond their means. Some of those programs – such as Quebec’s daycare and tuition subsidies – are more generous than programs in provinces that don’t qualify for transfers. This is exactly what German taxpayers are warning Ms. Merkel they won’t put up with.
Cost of Revolution – August 13, 2012
Economically, Quebec has lagged behind the richest parts of Canada for many decades. Hence, its tax base is smaller but its welfare programs have been among the most generous in Canada since the 1960s. On its own, Quebec would never have been able to construct such a large welfare state. Thanks to federal transfers, Quebec has been able to live beyond its means for decades.
Bavaria Mulls an End to Solidarity – August 3, 2012
Residents of the country's industrial and financial powerhouse states, particularly Bavaria, resent having to make payments to poorer regions like the city-state of Berlin, which tops the list of transfer recipients, with annual help from its neighbors of €3 billion ($4 billion).
Euro-Zone Lessons for Canada – June 11, 2012
Unless Canadians get a handle on the provinces’ runaway spending, their growing mountain of debt, and the resulting tidal wave of interest charges, we can expect lots more home-grown social unrest, as have-not provincial governments fall short of voters’ outsized expectations.
Some Inconvenient Facts About Equalization – June 10, 2012
To grasp why Canada’s equalization program is such a public policy disaster, some myths need to be busted about the $14.8-billion annual transfer of federal tax dollars to the provinces through equalization — and the $46-billion in other inter-governmental transfers. So, let’s some consider some inconvenient facts.
Getting Us Out of the Welfare Trap – June 10, 2012
The stated goal of Canada’s equalization program is to ensure that Canadians, regardless of their province of residence, have access to public services that are reasonably comparable, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. This year, the program will distribute over $15-billion to the relatively poorer provinces (typically known as “have-not” provinces in equalization-speak).
Transfer Disease? – June 10, 2012
A quirk in the equalization formula allows Quebec (and Manitoba) to massively subsidize their local markets without penalty. Effectively, Quebec's massive dam infrastructure is being subsidized by equalization of which a major wealth generator and contributor to equalization is the Oil Sands.
Pay People, Not Provinces – June 9, 2012
The Occupy movement, like the ongoing street protests in Quebec, demonstrates that our current efforts at income redistribution have proven unsatisfactory to many Canadians: Although we have improved mobility between income levels in recent decades, the income gap between rich and poor actually has gotten wider.
Time to End Quebec's 'Welfaretrap,' report says – May 31, 2012
Quebec may not be able to keep its gold-plated welfare state, but either way it is time to break the province's 55-year "welfare trap" dependence on equalization payments, according to an economic note by the Montreal Economic Institute.
Artificially Cheap Hydro Power – May 29, 2012
The federal government paid 34% more equalization to Quebec that it should have under more equitable rules that would treat hydro revenues the same as oil in the equalization formula. Alberta and Ontario taxpayers are effectively paying Quebec (and Manitoba) to consume artificially inexpensive power.
WA threat to split from Canberra – May 28, 2012
Premier Colin Barnett says WA will split from Canberra if the Federal Government doesn't reward the state for driving the national economy.
New Brunswick Needs Financial Reality and Leadership – May 11, 2012
Rather than focus on old, discredited explanations for New Brunswick’s poor economic performance, leaders must acknowledge the role that excessive federal subsidies play in underperformance.
Media Release - National Coalition on Federal Transfers Launched – May 9, 2012
An informal coalition of six not-for-profit and think tank organizations have agreed the issue of federal transfers to the provinces needs to be placed firmly on the national agenda.
Financial Reality is Needed in Maritime Canada – April 3, 2012
I’d like to start my presentation with a warning. The warning is that I’m going to speak very frankly about difficult issues. I will be taking fundamental issue with the approach the federal government, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba have been taking in relation to the many subsidies the Government of Canada provides to regions.
Quebec Students Need Lesson on Equalization – March 12, 2012
It would appear Quebec university students need to learn a lesson on equalization, fairness and pulling their own weight. Frankly, so does Premier Jean Charest and the rest of the province as well.
Canadians Vote With Their Feet – February 15, 2012
No man is an island. What is true of individuals is doubly true of societies. When even in authoritarian societies such as Iran and China, YouTube videos from Tunisia, Britain or Argentina can be viewed the instant they are posted, even the humble and the oppressed know what life is like elsewhere.
A Flawed Formula – February 10, 2012
Ottawa’s equalization scheme, under which the federal government gives money to “havenot” provinces so that they can provide roughly comparable levels of public services as found in “have” provinces at roughly comparable levels of taxation, is a little more than 50 years old.
There’s a Fairer — and Cheaper — Way to Even the Provinces’ Playing Field – February 9, 2012
Equalization payments are intended to give all provinces the financial means to provide roughly equivalent services to their residents. This principle is embedded in our Constitution. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, some provinces receive more than they need. Some receive too little.
Wealth Shared Unfairly, Study says; – January 27, 2012
Ottawa is suppressing key parts of a politically explosive federal report that reveals Ontario is being shortchanged by Canada's national wealth-sharing scheme.
Chongqing, Bangalore and Canada – December 21, 2011
David MacKinnon discusses the benefits of rapid economic growth in developing countries like China and India, as well as the challenges facing Canada in an increasingly competitive global economic environment.