Toronto – David MacKinnon does not mince words when he talks about Canada’s system of subsidies, transfers and equalization.

“The system of regional subsidies we have put in place hurts everybody and, by itself, could prevent Canada from competing in the world of the twenty first century,” he told the Empire Club in Toronto today. The speech was the first by MacKinnon in his new position as an AIMS Senior Fellow.

AIMS acting President Charles Cirtwill says MacKinnon is a natural fit for the new position at the Halifax-based Institute.

“As a former senior public servant in Nova Scotia and Ontario, he has seen the regional subsidy system from both sides and knows the harm it does to both,” Cirtwill explained at a news conference following the Empire Club luncheon. “We welcome him to the Institute and look forward to the policy debate his work will generate across this country.”

MacKinnon, who intends to provide the Ontario perspective on fairness in confederation, wasted no time in generating that debate by telling the Empire Club audience what regional subsidies are really doing in those recipient provinces.

“The tidal waves of funding from Alberta and Ontario taxpayers to recipient jurisdictions impairs economic growth by forcing labour costs to national levels, well beyond what the local real economy can support, by funding excessive public services and, over the years, by forcing unsubsidized enterprises to compete with subsidized ones in the same sector,” he said.

MacKinnon, a native of Prince Edward Island, has a BA from Dalhousie, an MBA from York and was awarded a Centennial Fellowship by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and York University to study at York, Harvard and Oxford Universities as well as the European Institute of Business Studies. He served as Director, Planning and Economics and Executive Director, Development Strategy in the Nova Scotia Department of Economic Development from 1976 to 1981. He later served in several senior capacities in the Ontario Public Service, the Bank of Montreal and as CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association from 1996 to 2003.

For more information on MacKinnon, click here.

To link to AIMS’ extensive research on equalization, click here.

To read MacKinnon’s speech before the Empire Club in Toronto, click here.


For further information, contact:

Charles Cirtwill, AIMS acting President