Political Debate over Saskatchewan Equalization

Equalization, Frontier Centre, Uncategorized

From an exhange in the letters to the editor section of the Regina Leader Post, May 4-5, 2005

Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale in the May 4th Regina Leader-Post:

In expressing his opinions about Canada’s Equalization system, Crowley advanced a
number of erroneous notions that deserve correction.

First, and most seriously, he makes the patently false suggestions that ” . . . the federal
government will try to keep Saskatchewan on equalization” as a means of political
domination. With all due respect, nothing could be more ludicrous, or more insulting to
Saskatchewanians.

Generations of determined citizens in this province have struggled mightily over the
years to cast off the constraints of history and geography, distance and climate, politics
and defeatism to move beyond old dependencies and limitations.

One fine ambition has been to outgrow our traditional need for equalization. And the
Government of Canada supports that goal.

Highlight of response from Brian Crowley, President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies …

I said Ottawa benefits from having a number of provinces dependent on money from Ottawa, which he hotly denies. And how does he deny it? By listing all the ways in which Ottawa throws money at less-developed provinces like Saskatchewan. If federal spending of this type were the road to prosperity, then of course my region, Atlantic Canada, would be the nation’s economic powerhouse. Need I say more?

He suggests further that the efforts of generations of Saskatchewanians to escape dependence on equalization are somehow discounted by me. Poppycock. What I did was
lay out for Saskatchewanians all the ways that the federal government works to subvert their efforts, efforts which I applaud, and think should be rewarded. Unfortunately, the federal government punishes those efforts, chiefly through the equalization clawback.

Read the entire exchange in pdf format by clicking here