The federal government paid 34% more equalization to Quebec that it should have under more equitable rules that would treat hydro revenues the same as oil in the equalization formula. Alberta and Ontario taxpayers are effectively paying Quebec (and Manitoba) to consume artificially inexpensive power.
Huge equalization transfers allows Manitoba to travel a path of un-green energy policy.
Let there be no doubt that our province is facing a tough fiscal challenge and solutions are hard to come by. Proposals are emerging. Some of them come from think tanks, whose role is to divine public policy options and …
Hydro has lost its intended focus on meeting Manitoba demand and bringing in electricity at the lowest cost possible for Manitoba ratepayers. The Utility’s development designs, based on overly optimistic forecasts of export demand and maintaining cost pressures on the new build, represent ‘gambling’ with ratepayers’ money.
Mention the subject of federal transfer payments, and most people’s eyes will glaze over. Mention that taxpayers in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario are net contributors to federal transfer payments – even though the cost of living is highest in those provinces, and lowest in the provinces that receive the bulk of federal transfer payments – and you might get people’s attention.
Caterpillar’s closure of t he Electro-motive Diesel plant in London, Ont., is troubling, not just because of the loss of 465 wellpaid jobs, but also for what it says about Ontario’s ability to compete for manufacturing jobs.
Manitoba has evolved into a supplicant society based on equalization payments that have the unintentional effect of limiting the province’s freedom and prosperity.
“A recent special report on water in The Economist offered a provocative comment: “The trouble with water is that it’s all politics, no economics.” How else to explain why a pro-free-trade government in one of the world’s most water-endowed countries would seek to ban bulk water exports?”
Equalization should be replaced with a transfer of tax room to the provinces.
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