This can't be stressed enough: no province "pays into equalization" - all individual taxpayers and businesses pay into the federal government's general revenue fund, from which equalization is just one of many programs funded.

Equalization Questions and Misconceptions

UPDATE: Charts updated with 2015-17 economic data (If you are looking for information about federal transfers to a certain province, or federal expenditures vs revenues in the provinces, please go to either this post for information about all federal transfers to all the provinces, and this post for a closer look at federal revenues and expenditures by province. For some reason, Google always directs people to this post only, which doesn’t really address those issues in detail.) Equalization is the Government of Canada’s transfer program for addressing fiscal disparities among provinces. Equalization payments enable the recipient provinces to provide their residents with public services that are reasonably comparable to the national standard, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. Not every province […]

The Financial Privilege of the House of Commons

A controversial bill overhauling the UK’s social benefits system suffered a number of defeats in the House of Lords as the upper chamber rejected several provisions of the Government’s bill. When the bill was returned to the House of Commons, something happened. A committee of the House of Commons resolved that the bill “engages the financial privilege of the Commons”. In doing so, the Government was then able to declare the Lords amendments invalid, based on the financial privilege convention. What is the financial privilege of the House of Commons? As Dr Jeff King, Senior Law Lecturer at University College London, explains: Under such a privilege, the Commons is entitled to ‘disagree’ with any Lords amendment and ultimately reject it […]

Initial thoughts on the Senate Reform Bill

Canada’s Conservative government introduced its legislation to reform the Canada Senate. There are some interesting parallels with the UK Coalition Government’s draft bill for reform of the House of Lords. I’ve discussed the UK proposals here and some of my concerns regarding these proposals here. Current Status of the Senate and Senators Currently, the Canadian Senate is organised around regional representation, meaning regions of the country, rather than the actual provinces and territories, are equally represented. Both Ontario and Quebec each have 24 Senators, 24 Senators represent the three Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick 10, Nova Scotia 10 and Prince Edward Island 4), and another 24 Senators represent the four Western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia – six Senators […]