Alberta’s official opposition says they want to see Alberta paying less when it comes to equalization payments.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean says that over the last seven years, our province has sent between $20 and $28-billion more per year back to the federal government, than we received back in benefits.
Jean said most Canadians likely don’t know how much Alberta pays.
“I believe that if we have a national conversation that Canadians are fair by nature,” Jean said. “And Canadians will see that this is in the best interest, long-term, for all of us.
Jean said it’s unfair for a province to pay that much more when we only account for 11 percent of Canada’s total population.
“I think one thing that is unknown, is that most people in Eastern Canada, including Ontario and Quebec, are not aware that this is the case,” Jean said. “Alberta is sending $20 to 28-billion each and every year over the last seven years. I think most Canadians don’t recognize that, and they would be shocked.”
Jean added they’ve looked at other systems that might be a bit fairer.
“Let’s be clear, this was an independent panel and this was an independent report,” Jean said. “We have looked at other jurisdictions, such as Australia, that actually has an equalization formula based on need. That’s a more fair formula and simply would be a good thing for this government to look at.”
In a report commissioned by the Wildrose, they would like to re-evaluate what exactly the constitutional obligations are under the current equalization system, and restructure how the equalization formula is measured and spent. (km/Newstalk770)