The nearly $240B Albertans have paid out as part of net federal fiscal transfers is more than one-and-a-half times as much as B.C. and Ontario combined
In just 11 years, Albertans have paid out almost $240 billion to the rest of Canada. That number is more than one-and-a-half times as much as B.C. and Ontario combined, whose taxpayers pitched in $54.6 billion and $97.9 billion respectively, the other two largest net contributors to the federal balance sheet.
The money is sent to Ottawa as part of net federal fiscal transfers — basically the residents of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario pay more in federal taxes than they get back in federal programs and transfers — they are net positive contributors to the federal finances. And in Alberta’s case it has been doing that for a lot of years.
Other provinces are net negative contributors — they get more back in federal programs and transfers than they give in taxes. In Quebec’s case its net negative contributor was minus $171.3 billion from 2007-2018.
The numbers from Statistics Canada show that Alberta’s $240 billion comes to about $5,000 a year — for 11 years — for Alberta’s taxpayers. Ben Eisen, a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute’s Provincial Prosperity Initiative, said the results, per capita, were hard to ignore.
“Despite economic challenges which could reduce net contribution to federal finances, it still remains true that Alberta is a major net contributor to public finances,” he said in a phone interview. “Far more tax revenue comes to Ottawa from Albertans than what comes back to Alberta in terms of federal services and transfers.”