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Alberta

Equalization Program grows to record $20.9 Billion – Fairness Alberta looking to Ontario and BC for support

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This article submitted by Fairness Alberta

FAIRNESS ALBERTA: RECORD EQUALIZATION PAYMENTS IN BUDGET ARE UNFAIR, UNAFFORDABLE, AND UNNECESSARY

Fairness Alberta has released an analysis highlighting how this year’s federal budget allocates a record $20.9 billion to the Equalization program and plans to hike payments to so-called ‘have not’ provinces by 20% over the next four years.

Fairness Alberta Executive Director Dr. Bill Bewick is calling on Canadians in British Columbia and Ontario in particular – who will pay roughly $2,400 per family of four this year into payments for others – to join Albertans in demanding Equalization reform.

“The $20 billion-and-growing price tag for Equalization payments to 30% of the country is not just unaffordable, it is totally unfair and unnecessary given how much the gap between the ‘have’ and ‘have not’ provinces shrunk since 2015,” said Dr. Bewick. “When you consider the higher costs and budget struggles in places like Ontario, B.C., and Alberta, it is unacceptable to take so much from them to fund other provinces’ budgets, and outrageous that this would increase by 20% over the next four years.”

Fairness Alberta used the most recent Library of Parliament breakdown of federal revenues by province to estimate the share of Equalization funding that comes from each province, and broke it down to a per capita basis.

Alberta families are contributing about $2,700 to cover this year’s record Equalization payments, and Ontario and B.C. families are on the hook for about $2,400 each at a time when every provincial government is under tremendous strain.  Fairness Alberta recently called for a rebate to contributing provinces until a new formula is worked out or Equalization is scrapped altogether.

“The 67% of Canadians in the contributing provinces were struggling with their own provincial services even before COVID-19,” said Dr. Bewick.  “Given the collapse of the wealth gap between provinces, the ‘have’ provinces should get the share of Equalization that came from their taxpayers rebated until serious reforms are made.”

As Dr. Bewick outlined recently in the National Post, even a 50% rebate would mean a bump to provincial budgets of $4 billion in Ontario, and $1.5 billion being returned to B.C. and Alberta as provincial responsibilities like health care come under strain.

Fairness Alberta is a grassroots, non-partisan, and non-separatist association of concerned citizens, aiming to increase awareness across the country related to Albertans’ major contributions to Canada, while also providing clear, factual information on unfair federal policies that are anticipated to undermine the prosperity of Alberta and other contributing provinces further.

Fairness Alberta previously released analysis and recommendations for reforms to Equalization and the Fiscal Stabilization program, with an overview of fiscal federalism as well at fairnessalberta.ca.

Our previous releases, interviews, columns, and presentations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance can be found in the NEWS section of our website. For more information on Fairness Alberta, its mandate, and future plans, please visit our website at www.fairnessalberta.ca.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Bill Bewick, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Fairness Alberta
Cell: (780) 996-6019
Email: [email protected]

Background Calculations:

Ben Eisen and Milagros Palacios recently published a reportshowing the “Great Convergence” in provincial fortunes since the 2015 energy downturn.  While the gap between the median ‘have’ and ‘have not’ fell from $5000 per person in 2015 to only $1600 now, Equalization payments grew by 23%. This year’s $20.9 billion windfall to 5 provinces with one-third of the population is budgeted for $25.1 billion in 4 years.

Using the contribution rates to federal revenues by province last updated here we broke down Equalization funding per capita as follows:

Alberta

Pembina to pocket $350 million after terminating acquisition of Inter Pipeline

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CALGARY — Pembina Pipeline Corp. will pocket a $350-million break fee after terminating its acquisition of Inter Pipeline Ltd.

The move follows Inter Pipeline’s board advising that it would no longer recommend that shareholders support the deal after rival Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP upped its hostile takeover bid for the Calgary-based Inter Pipeline.

Inter Pipeline had resisted Brookfield’s bid after signing a friendly all-stock deal to be bought by Pembina that would have seen its shareholders receive half a Pembina share for each Inter Pipeline share they hold.

Prominent shareholder advisory firm ISS recommended that Inter Pipeline investors reject the company’s proposed sale to Pembina and instead support the takeover by Brookfield after Inter Pipeline’s largest shareholder upped its offer to $16 billion, including debt.

Pembina’s CEO Mick Dilger says he’s disappointed by the outcome as the logic of a combination with Inter Pipeline remains “unparalleled” and the value creation impossible to replicate.

He says the company will continue to seek growth opportunities through other acquisitions.

“Pembina remains optimistic about its future, including the profitability of our existing business given foreseeable sector tailwinds, as well as with tremendous flexibility to pursue an ever increasing and more diverse set of opportunities for growth, some of which we were able to highlight and advance during this process,” he stated.

Inter Pipeline subsequently said it is open to working with Brookfield to reach a “mutually agreeable transaction.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:IPL, TSX:PPL, TSX:BIPC)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Yamamoto among four players to receive qualifying offers from the Edmonton Oilers

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers extended qualifying offers to forwards Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Kailer Yamamoto as well as goalie Stuart Skinner on Sunday.

Benson, 23, has one assist in seven career NHL games. He was selected in the second round. No. 23 overall, in 2016.

Marody, 24,was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015 and has appeared in six career NHL contests.

The 22-year-old Yamamoto had eight goals and 13 assists in 52 games with Edmonton last season. The ’17 draft pick has 20 goals and 32 assists in 105 career NHL contests.

Skinner, 22, played in one game with Edmonton last year. He was drafted by the Oilers in 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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