Equalization in Canada means that Saskatchewan, a “have” province, is sending money to “have-not” provinces like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Those two provinces have raked in more than $27 billion in equalization since 2005. And it’s those payments, according to the Fraser Institute and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, which discourage those provinces from developing their natural resources. Ben Eisen, director of research and programs at AIMS says equalization makes it easier for the two eastern provinces to forgo natural resource development that would help spur economic growth. At the same time, Saskatchewan is developing natural resources here and sending some of that revenue to places like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Eisen says if governments there want to help create jobs at home, raise income for workers, and increase tax revenues, they should pursue policies that do not harmfully restrict resource development.
*This article appeared on Saskatoonhomepage.ca on 9 December 2014