Monday, November 03, 2008

Show me the money, Jim Flaherty!

I’ve never lived in a have-not province before, it’s kind of exciting. I’m not sure how this works though. Will Jim Flaherty be sending me a cheque or something? Do I get a discount card? Such progress we’re making under the Harper government, so exciting!

Ontario qualifies for equalization payments for first time in province's history


MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Ontario will qualify for equalization payments next year for the first time in the province's history, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed Monday.

Flaherty made the comment on his way into a half-day meeting with his provincial colleagues at the Toronto airport. "Ontario will be very happy with the figure that I will give them this morning, which will be their share of the equalization program next year," Flaherty said.


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Olaf said...


I’ve never lived in a have-not province before, it’s kind of exciting

Hmmm... wasn't BC a have not province for a good part of its recent history?

The Mound of Sound said...

Olaf's right. It wasn't for long but British Columbia did have a couple of seasons on the bench.

A BCer in Toronto said...

True enough. But at least we still had the mountains and the oceans to distract us from our have notness.

Lizt. said...

If Ontario is so bad off, how come Quebec gets 8.35 billion. 1.57 billion for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick gets 1.69 billion. ?

Sophie-Marie said...

Your just in the worn part of Ontario, Jeff... up here we've got the trees to distract us.
Much as I hate to say that something is not Harper's fault, our newly found have-not-ness is not his fault. OUr economy was driven by two things: resources and manufacturing, both of which have gone belly-up on a national scale.
Sorry, don't think the cons can take the blame this time.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I have no doubt that Ontario is going to be mocked for this, but everyone should keep some things in mind.

First, Ontario was to this point the only province in confederation to have never, ever received equalization from the rest of the country. We've been doing nothing but paying the freight for everyone else (a different "everyone else" from time to time, but you know what I mean) for over 50 years.

Second, the last two times Ontario SHOULD have become eligible for payments, the government simply changed the formula to make us ineligible. So even when we were worse off in the past, we STILL got screwed.

Third, hit by the worst economy in decades, that disproportionately hits Ontario's economy, it looks like Ontario's gonna get around $347 million in help (about $27 per person). Meanwhile, Quebec will CONTINUE to get (never ending) help to the tune of $8.3 billion (about $1098 per person). And PEI's the only other province getting help that's getting less than $1.5 billion but their $340 million equates to $2439 per Islander.

So, I personally won't be too embarrassed that for the first time in over 50 years, during potentially the worst economy since the Great Depression, my province (the ONLY one to have never done anything but pay in, and the only one to consistently pay in in recent years except for Alberta during $60+ oil) is going to receive a pittance of less than $30 a person from some of our fellow citizens, after literally decades of essentially subsidizing the often superior programs they set up for their own citizens while crying poor.

Even with this pittance of assistance, Ontario continues to be the patsy of Confederation, contributing WAY more to the economic well-being of the country than any other province, and I think we're willing to continue to do so, even if no one else appreciates it.

Möbius said...

Keep in mind that Ontario is still paying into equalization, far more than we get back.

It's like a money-laundering scheme.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Mobius makes the more important point, I realized afterwards. This is actually OUR MONEY simply being returned back to us. It's not really some sort of federal largess, it's just money laundering. We give the Feds our money, they "convert it" into "federal money" and then they hand it back to us.

So, what, about 8.7 billion more and we'll call it even?