The Help that Hurts:

Why Equalization has been Bad for Saskatchewan
and What to do about it.

AIMS’ work on Equalization has triggered a debate in Saskatchewan following a recent speech in that city by AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley at an event sponsored by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The luncheon was attended by business, community and political leaders, including Saskatchewan Finance Minister Harry van Mulligen and former Leader of the Opposition, Elwin Hermanson. The ensuing discussion and debate prompted federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale to write a Letter to the Editor in The Leader – Post.

In his letter, Minister Goodale wrote, “First, and most seriously, [Crowley] makes the patently false suggestions that ” . . . the federal government will try to keep Saskatchewan on equalization” as a means of political domination. With all due respect, nothing could be more ludicrous, or more insulting to Saskatchewanians.

Brian Crowley responded by suggesting that Minister Goodale was shooting the messenger, “He suggests further that the efforts of generations of Saskatchewanians to escape dependence on equalization are somehow discounted by me. Poppycock. What I did was lay out for Saskatchewanians all the ways that the federal government works to subvert their efforts, efforts which I applaud, and think should be rewarded. Unfortunately, the federal government punishes those efforts, chiefly through the equalization clawback.”

In order to give our readers a chance to judge this controversy for themselves, here are a copy of the speech delivered by Brian Lee Crowley at the luncheon co-sponsored by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Mr. Goodale’s letter to the editor, and AIMS’ reply.