In this the third paper in AIMS' Equalization Series, author Kenneth J. Boessenkool discusses how equalization, although noble in intent, actually creates incentives for less-developed provinces to raise taxes and overtax their citizens.
In this paper, Kenneth Boessenkool, a private policy analyst and commentator, makes the case for a practical change to the current equalization program: removing non-renewable natural resource revenue from the formula used to calculate equalization.
According to this Commentary by AIMS author Ken Boessenkool, a growing body of evidence shows that independent and home schools perform much better than public schools, even when you adjust for socio-economic factors such as education of parents and income. The goal in public education ought to be, then, to try and increase parental involvement in our public schools. Proposals exist to do just that, but many of them are problematic.
AIMS author addresses Senate on equalization On 24 October 2001, Kenneth J. Boessenkool author of the AIMS report, “Taking of the Shackles: Equalization and the Development of Nonrenewable Resources in Atlantic Canada”, delivered a presentation to the Senate National Finance Committee. In it he outlined ten reasons to remove nonrenewable resources from Equalization. In summary, he argued that such a change would mean little to the federal government’s bottom line; it would continue to protect the federal balance sheet from the vagaries of the price of nonrenewable resources, particularly oil and gas; and it means a substantial simplification of the program - an intergovernmental hat trick not often seen in the arcane world of Canada’s intergovernmental relations.
Ken Boessenkool, author of the AIMS paper "Taking off the Shackles: Equalization and the Development of Nonrenewable Resources in Atlantic Canada" published this piece in the National Post in response to an earlier article by Jack Mintz of the C.D. Howe Institute. Boessenkool agrees that the equalization system needs to be fundamentally reworked. He argues, however, that a necessary step in that reworking is to make a clear distinction between proceeds from the sale of a capital asset (royalties from nonrenewable resources like potash or natural gas) and revenues (like corporate and personal taxes). Publication: NP, July 31, 2001
This enlightening study by Kenneth J. Boessenkool, a senior policy analyst now based in Ottawa, outlines a win-win strategy to reduce the overall cost of equalization and put more money into the hands of the provinces in the long term.