SK Premier Proposes Reforming Federal Equalization Payments

See for yourself what Premier Moe wants to do with the equalization payments formula

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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.
Quebec currently receives the vast majority of equalization payments.
PEI receives the highest level of equalization payments per capita.


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Mika Ryu

Law student at Western University, and UofT graduate in economics and linguistics. Remember that your version of the world is always too simple.

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