Like an unhappy spouse in a marriage, Alberta is doing a lot of soul-searching these days about its relationship with the rest of Canada. And increasingly, it’s a case of show me the money.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, who polls suggest is favoured to become Alberta’s next premier, insists he wants a “new deal, a fair deal for Alberta in Canada.”
Mr. Kenney’s demands include overhauling the country’s system of equalization payments, taking a larger bite of federal taxes collected in the province and cutting Albertans’ Canada Pension Plan contributions.
The UCP platform cites research by University of Calgary economist Robert Mansell showing that Albertans have paid $611-billion more in federal taxes since 1961 than they have received in transfers and services.
Well, guess what Alberta? You’re not alone. Based on the same analysis, Ontario and British Columbia have also been taken for a ride by the rest of Canada, to the tune of $722-billion and $110-billion, respectively.