February 19, 2016

Liberals shortchange Saskatchewan and Alberta: Refuse to address equalization formula problems

Brian LilleyArchive

Conservative MP Andrew Scheer says the Trudeau Liberals are short changing Saskatchewan and Alberta by refusing to change the equalization formula as the two resource driven provinces deal with low oil prices.

“Despite the calls by Premier Wall to address the problems in the equalization formula, the Liberals are doing nothing. Saskatchewan is being forced to pay into equalization as if oil was still at $100 a barrel, despite the fact that oil is clearly trading closer to $30. This is so obviously unfair,” Scheer said in the House of Commons.

“The Minister of Finance agreed to make some changes to other calculations for Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Will he provide the same fairness to Alberta and Saskatchewan?” Scheer asked.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has backed off of changes that would have seen the three territories get less money. The changes were based on Statistics Canada data but Morneau overruled those changes to give more money to the territorial governments, something he refuses to do for Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“We are talking about how we can help people who are facing real challenges across this country, middle class families across the country, people in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador,” Morneau said.

In addition to requests for changes to equalization to help the two western provinces, the Liberals have been asked to provide changes for the Employment Insurance system to assist the unemployed in the changing labour and business market. So far they have refused to do so.

What the Liberals are doing though is considering a request for a billion dollar bailout for Montreal based Bombardier and changing legislation for Air Canada to encourage the company to buy planes from the Canadian aerospace company. Those moves have caught the eye and ire of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

In a Facebook post Wall said if Ottawa will consider a bailout for Bombardier as the company sheds 2,800 jobs in Canada, they should consider doing something for the much greater job losses in the energy industry.

“If the federal government is considering a $1 billion bailout to address 2,830 Canadian job losses at Bombardier, what about the tens of thousands of job losses in Canada's energy sector? We could start with Energy East maybe...and an oil well clean up initiative.” Wall said.

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commented 2016-02-27 20:32:20 -0500
OMG, just shut up right-wing dickheads. It’s disgusting how ignorant you are.
commented 2016-02-21 22:37:48 -0500
I’m moving to Sask.!
commented 2016-02-21 18:13:46 -0500
commented 2016-02-21 16:15:42 -0500
And……..,Open season on all of ralphs and justins "subjects of the organised invasion "
commented 2016-02-21 16:11:30 -0500
As resident of Sask I feel as if we`re on our own island, surrounded by all these federal and provincial parties that have extreme agendas that are going to be the demise of our country. All residents must vote Sask Party till eternity and who ever reads this and lives in Regina, go too ralph goodales home office and stir up the place with a visit. I have know respect for that traitor of a man.
commented 2016-02-21 16:07:38 -0500
Perhaps, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s assistance, the Rebel could do an expose on what actual calculations occur to justify equalization payments. I believe most Canadians , myself included, are unaware of WHY some provinces receive so much. I think we will find that some major revenue sources are not included in their incomes so as to make them perpetually poor on paper. Brad Wall has been asking for equalization changes for some time. Canadians of all persuasions need to be better informed on his reasons for such a request.
commented 2016-02-21 15:26:25 -0500
Clearly the Liebrano Finance Minister has been taking lessons in how not to answer a direct question like all Liebranos……………!

Deryck Shewchuk Said: “there will be a liberal shortage in the whole of Canada next election” Not so methinks. The Liebranos have committed to changing the electoral system to either rig for continuous Liebrano governance, or simply do away with those pesky elections altogether. We will not see these changes until close to 2019 when it will be difficult to challenge, legally, or otherwise!
commented 2016-02-21 14:03:37 -0500
there will be a liberal shortage in the whole of Canada next election
commented 2016-02-20 22:40:41 -0500
Let it be known that Bombardier transfers more and more of it operations to Texas every year, financed by the Canadian taxpayer, of course.

But why not operate out of Texas? Excellent flying weather, unbeatable infrastructure, and the location of civilian and military aerospace centres in San Antonio and Houston, Bombardier should be operating in Texas 100%. But the Canadian and Quebec governments are ready to hand over billions to keep it afloat – why not have a shop in Quebec?
commented 2016-02-20 19:24:11 -0500
Our shiny new sunny ways PM has to appease QC so they are just looking for a way to spin the $1B to Bombardier, because it will happen. But he also has to deal with Saskatchewan. Conundrum. And Brad Wall is not acquiescing. I wish Brad Wall was the premier of Ontario.
commented 2016-02-20 18:48:45 -0500
WE should spend 5 billion on Jets , we need to build our own Jets in Canada, In Alberta, and If Bombardier will build us 100 jets over 17 years a delivery of 6 at a time, they would be set. We’d be set. And it could look something like this.

Add in a tail, some thrust vectoring, and a ram jet turbojet combination engine that can run as a ram jet without the Jet engine if needed at high speed, and Blam. we got the fastest thing on the planet. that can out fly and out perform. Done and Done.
commented 2016-02-20 16:58:05 -0500
Hey there Doug Stewart, take your own advice & do some research. Alberta has never recieved any payments. We have PAYED but have never recieved a dime, not one penny.
commented 2016-02-20 16:40:23 -0500
Pretty sad when we in Alberta have to rely on the premiere of Sask. to speak up for us. The message coming from Ottawa and Quebec to Sask. and Alberta is very clear. “We hate you and want you to separate”. …but don’t stop sending us money of course.
commented 2016-02-20 14:55:05 -0500
“whereas the Bombardier deal might preserve many jobs in the long run, with the potential for further advances ………”
Of course a large number of the job losses are in Ireland and other tax havens. So Bombardier is getting handouts for from governments it avoided paying taxes to by depleting the wealth of jurisdictions that are now in dire straights themselves, which easily could be reducing to the international trade imbalance if the feds supported Canadian energy infrastructure as they should be doing.
Why would a Federal government be complicit in choking off access for energy producers? Alberta and Saskatchewan Pipeline companies would be financing upwards of $C40,000,000,000, worth of infrastructure projects as we speak, without using even a dime of Fed money. Instead we now have idiotic administrations proclaiming to waste $C500,000,000 (provincially) and $C750,000,000 (Federally) on some kind of infrastructure, non of which will in any way be directly productive. Oh wait, but it will have a silver shovel ceremony and a plaque proclaiming the largess and wisdom of the dear leaders involved in this economic charade. I guess that’s how the economy looks after itself in Trudeau’s world.
commented 2016-02-20 14:03:27 -0500
Hey all you “levantine rebels”; read your history! There was a time, not that long ago, when the west received the payments. Equalization has been in existence since Confederation. The system we know today was not set up to benefit Quebec but to ensure people in the Atlantic Provinces didn’t have to move to central Canada. Western Canada with the exception of BC was dirt poor! Nunavut, NWT and YT don’t get equalization payments. There is a different formula for them. The reason SK and AB are separate provinces is because BC and MB didn’t want such a potentially huge economic machine as a neighbour. Separation is a bad idea but as an Albertan I’m not against western separation if that would mean we could be our own country. If ontarians think joining the U.S. is such a good idea, go ahead. As long as you leave Confederation with what you came in with, no problem. I’m sure those labelled as Northern Ontario could quickly figure out how to get along. I don’t support Quebec getting special treatment but at the same time they did not give up their confederation rights the way the other provinces did. Therefore they get what they signed up for in 1867. How about all Canadians pulling together and making Canada strong.
commented 2016-02-20 13:55:33 -0500
I worked for a person who developed the formula for equalization payments. He told me no one in government knows how to use it properly now that he retired. He said they just make it up as they go along.
commented 2016-02-20 13:54:27 -0500

Hardly a dire consequence, really.

Canada is a falsehood, built on sham colonialism and sectarianism. We see JT pushing an agenda that will see a pro-Islamist state (an obvious threat to US national security) and a financial system dedicated to leeching off of Western Canada. When the collapse comes, it will be a good thing. Western Canada will be annexed by the US and its people will know true freedom. JT cannot stop it; Canada has no military of any force and will be overwhelmed in minutes. US Manifest Destiny will be realized and freedom spreads across North America. Victory!
commented 2016-02-20 12:07:25 -0500
Finance Minister Morneau has developed the art of deflection. He does NOT answer the question! To the people living in Saskatchewan and Alberta, you have my support. Many citizens of Ontario are fed-up and discouraged at the state of our province under Winnie-the-Pooh.
It seems to me that this Liberal government has a vendetta against Saskatchewan and Alberta. They are going to make you pay big time. Separation may be the only option left. Perhaps a delegation of like-minded people should approach your border American states to ascertain the level of support you would have if a request was made to annex you to their states.
commented 2016-02-20 11:24:45 -0500
commented 2016-02-20 11:24:45 -0500
commented 2016-02-19 23:49:36 -0500
That’s pretty dire, and I’m sorry to say, you might be right. A different scenario would be that such a dire situation will force ppl to stop being foolish and start to do their part. Like pipelines, like fracking on the east coast etc. Let’s hope that happens, otherwise, you’ll be right, and it’s going to be bad!!
commented 2016-02-19 21:14:42 -0500
Is it my imagination, or is the Prime Minister NOT at work again?
commented 2016-02-19 20:53:59 -0500
Not a problem.

Once tax receipts from Western Canada completely collapse, and the bloated debt in Ontario swells that much more, it will be revealed that Canada is an economic basket case on the level of Greece. Defaults are imminent, JT orders the Bank of Canada to print money and soak up the hundreds of billions in toxic government bonds. The signal will go out that the end is nigh: Canada is a sham, a house of cards, built on JT’s progressivist-sodomite delusions.

Canada flies apart, and the US grows that much larger.
commented 2016-02-19 20:41:52 -0500
11 am 8 March 2016 Alberta Legislature
Huge Demonstration (Peaceful)
80,000 Signatures to Stop The Carbon Tax and Reverse Bill 6 Attack on Farmers
There is a Plan B.
commented 2016-02-19 20:28:00 -0500
As a Manitoban who has freeloaded off your equalization payments for years, I fully support your cause.
commented 2016-02-19 20:03:55 -0500
It doesn’t matter,those of us who lived in Alta in the 80’s should not be subjected to this shit again.right or wrong a line has to be drawn.as unlikely as it might seem,the future generations of a free west might thankful for hard but necessary decisions made
commented 2016-02-19 19:00:51 -0500
Nathan W: “…support for the two provinces is likely to go to consumption, not investment and not create much new employment…..” If I am interpreting what you are saying correctly, eastern provinces are supporting Alberta and Saskatchewan by their consumption of western oil. This is not accurate. Western crude does not flow to eastern Canada. The crude that eastern Canada consumes comes from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the North Sea. That is precisely what the Energy East Pipeline proposal is trying to address. So there is no “support” from the east. In fact, eastern shakedown artists are blocking the pipeline for selfish political reasons.

Secondly, “…$1billion to Bombardier has greater long-term employment and growth prospects than assistance to the two provinces.” Says who? Bombardier has been receiving government bailout money since 1966. When do they start to stand on their own two feet? By the way, it is not only $1 billion. Quebec will throw away another $1.2billion US. The market cap for the entire company is only $2.7 billion. You’d almost have to mismanage a company on purpose in order to need this level of cash infusion. If it’s such a solid company with, “long-term employment and growth prospects” why is the private sector (real investors) turning their backs on it?

Thirdly, I do agree with you that we here on the “right wing” hate welfare. We aren’t asking for any. Let us build Northern Gateway, Energy East and the TransMountain Expansion. This will require no public money, and create the “infrastructure spending” PM Zoolander campaigned on. Or is he only in favour of infrastructure programs that create deficits?

Lastly, I disagree with how you have characterized the “consistency” we are asking for? We are not asking for a handout like Bombardier. The Equalization formula works on a three-year weighted average. As recently as July of 2014 WTI was over $90USD. Basing Alberta and Saskatchewan’s obligation to the have-not provinces under Equalization using such inflated oil prices is not fair. If the Liberal gov’t can review calculation changes, in the name of fairness, for the Yukon, Nunavut, and NW Territories, why can’t the gov’t not apply that same fairness to Alberta and Saskatchewan. That is the consistency we are referring to. Otherwise, the have-not provinces would receive “wealth” via Equalization payments that never existed. It’s just a fiction in a calculation.
commented 2016-02-19 18:37:06 -0500
So even though AB is now have not it is still expected to bleed for the East?
commented 2016-02-19 17:55:54 -0500
An article which can be filed under “no misrepresentation of the facts this time”. More of this, please.

Also, while I 100% respect the right of Alberta and Saskatchewan to advocate for themselves as members of the federation, also consider that current support for the two provinces is likely to go to consumption, not investment, and not create much new employment, whereas the Bombardier deal might preserve many jobs in the long run, with the potential for further advances

I’m would not demand consistency for the fact that this is inconsistent with the hate of the right wing for welfare, but it should also be considered that $1billion to Bombardier has greater long-term employment and growth (after their recent cuts) prospects than assistance to the two provinces to deal with low oil prices.
commented 2016-02-19 17:52:58 -0500
Separation.only solution.one of the many last straws,the band of misfits chosen.lets take m. McKenna.she stood up and gushed about Maurice strong and to carry on his “noble causes”after stemming the blood from slitting my wrists,I knew western Canada was doomed…