CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation welcomes the Alberta government’s equalization question for the referendum this fall.
“Albertans are ready to fight for fairness so it’s good to see the government getting the ball rolling on this October’s equalization referendum,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “Albertans are tired of being treated as the cash cow of Confederation, so the government needs to approve the question and let Albertans tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau what we think about the equalization status quo.”
Government House Leader Jason Nixon today gave notice of motion to debate the referendum question to remove equalization from the Constitution. According to the provincial government, the question is as follows:
“Should section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982—Parliament and the government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments—be removed from the constitution?”
The CTF launched the Fight Equalization campaign, which is committed to winning the referendum to oppose the equalization status quo and to get a fair deal.
A provincial referendum that results in a clear majority on a clear question would push the federal government and provinces to the constitutional negotiating table, as explained by former Alberta finance minister Ted Morton, and confirmed by Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel report.
Since 1961, Alberta taxpayers have paid more than $600 billion more to the federal government than the province has received back from Ottawa. Equalization is a key part of this problem, costing Alberta taxpayers $28 billion between 2008 and 2017.
“Equalization has been forcing Alberta taxpayers to subsidize politicians in other provinces that seem intent on roadblocking our development,” said Terrazzano. “The equalization referendum is our chance to tell Trudeau that the status quo must change.”