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Albertans should get equalization rebate, not provincial government

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2020/09/18

CALGARY, ABThe Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Premier Jason Kenney to make sure any equalization rebate from the federal government goes directly to Alberta taxpayers.

“The Alberta government doesn't pay equalization, Alberta taxpayers do, so any equalization rebate should go back to Albertans who are paying the bills, not to provincial government coffers,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “Alberta families and businesses are struggling, and this equalization rebate would go a long way in helping Albertans survive this downturn.”

Kenney is asking the federal government for at least $6 billion through the fiscal stabilization program, commonly referred to as an equalization rebate.

The Alberta government doesn’t pay for equalization, taxpayer do.

“It’s a big myth that [the] Alberta [government] sends equalization payments to Ottawa,” explains University of Alberta political scientist Jared Wesley. “Albertans as individuals and their corporations pay income taxes directly to the federal government, and the federal government then sends some of that money out to other provinces.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Kenney to make sure any rebate goes back to Albertans who are paying for equalization rather than keeping it in provincial government coffers. A $6-billion equalization rebate could mean about $1,400 for each Albertan.

Since 1961, Albertans have paid $661 billion more to Ottawa than Albertans have received back in federal spending.

“Kenney is right to try and bring home more of our federal tax dollars, but he needs to make sure that money gets back to the families that paid for the province’s oversized contribution to the feds,” said Terrazzano.