Tag: Equalization

Revenue windfalls produce Nova Scotia budgetary crumbs

While their criticisms of the Nova Scotia  budget have had some things in common, the two opposition parties in the legislature have also stressed different, but equally important, shortcomings. The NDP has questioned the unfair distribution of the budget’s rewards, with leader Gary Burrill describing the $70 million tax cut for big business to “a banquet feast laid on the table of the corporate sector of the province compared to crumbs cast on the floor for everybody else.” Some of those crumbs – for affordable housing, income assistance, disability supports –  were discussed last week. For its part, the...

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Kenney’s “equalization rebate” grabs the spotlight

It was Alberta time again in Ottawa with the province’s demands for a re-jigging of the previously obscure Fiscal Stabilization Program (FSP) dominating coverage of this week’s annual meeting of Canada’s finance ministers. Other longstanding issues – such as increased health transfers – were shoved into the background as attention was focused on Alberta’s appeal for $2.4 billion from the feds. Also known the “equalization rebate,” the potential payout is being framed as a peace offering to the demons of western alienation, an opportunity for the Trudeau government to connect its money with its post-election soothing words. The FSP,...

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Post-election Reflection #2: The alienated west

Trying to sum up the federal election results and reactions in Alberta and Saskatchewan moves one to aphorism and metaphor. “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” comes to mind as an apt description of the vengeful dispatching of every Liberal candidate between the Manitoba and British Columbia borders, leaving the two provinces without representation in the cabinet or government caucus. And the one about the guy who, convicted of murdering his parents, begs the judge for clemency because he’s an orphan, captures the reaction to the realization that the ballot box tantrum could well leave the two...

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The equalization history that Jason Kenney likes to forget

There was a predictable skirmish over the federal equalization program last week after Finance Canada announced the details of transfer payments to the provinces for 2019-20. The fact that Quebec received a $1.4 billion increase in equalization may have been enough in normal times to attract some negative comment from politicians whose provinces do not receive equalization. But these are not normal times and even though Parliament renewed equalization to 2024 earlier this year, the program is not likely to disappear as an issue. Alberta is facing an election in the coming months amid angst over low oil prices...

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Donald Savoie ducks crucial issue for Maritimes

Donald Savoie has mounted the barricades again. Called by some the Sage of Bouctouche for his long career of writing, teaching and advising governments, the septuagenarian University of Moncton political scientist has a new book out on Maritime economic development and its complaints. The 400-page tome Looking for Bootstraps: Economic Development in the Maritimes comes along a decade after Savoie swore off the topic following publication of “Visiting Grandchildren: Economic Development in the Maritimes,” also weighing in at around 400 pages. Grandchildren was a scholarly work published by the University of Toronto Press. A cover blurb called it Savoie’s...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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