In 2016 the ‘have not’ provinces in Canada will receive increased equalization payments from Ottawa, while the ‘have’ provinces (such as B.C.) will continue to pay for this largess while receiving nothing. Quebec will receive over $10 billion this year alone.
Since the equalization program started Quebec has received over $200 billion. That’s enough money to make every person in Victoria a millionaire. Quebec uses this money to provide rich social programs for its citizens such as the least expensive daycare and post-secondary education in North America. Quebec is a large province with a wealth of resources, much like B.C. It doesn’t deserve the wealth redistribution that the equalization program provides. B.C. (with its higher cost of living) doesn’t deserve the wealth confiscation this program requires.
The formula used to calculate equalization payments is skewed to benefit provinces like Quebec. You would have thought that with the drop in the price of oil, and corresponding drop in federal revenues, equalization payments would be scaled back. Instead, they have increased. In case you were wondering, struggling Alberta doesn’t qualify for equalization payments this year.
You may want to address the inequities of the equalization program with your MP. Don’t be surprised if they are champions for the program if their party benefits from the ‘have not’ vote.