Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe proposes reforming federal equalization payments.
Currently the federal government funds provincial governments based on relative prosperity. The program was vastly expanded under Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Quebec receives the vast majority of these equalization payments.
The proposal is for half of the current payments to be reallocated on a per capita basis. It is a modest ask, as you can see from the graphs below.
Saskatchewan, which has seriously suffered in recent years due to a slump in the resource sector, continues to receive no equalization payments, although its citizens continue to pay into the program through federal taxes.
The program is mandated by the Constitution, but the formula is entirely up to the federal government, which can change the formula without provincial input or approval.
How does Premier Moe’s proposal compare to the current state of affairs? See for yourself below.
- The first graph shows current and proposed equalization payments in millions of dollars.
- The second graph shows current and proposed equalization payments per capita.