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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:

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Alberta

Study warns Alberta has failed to consider damage to foothills from coal mining

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A lengthy new report commissioned by landowners near proposed Alberta coal mines concludes mines would create environmental liabilities that exceed their economic benefits.

Written by respected Alberta environmental consultants, the report says mines would pose a serious threat to both the quality and quantity of downstream water.

It says current methods to remove toxins such as selenium are unproven over long times and large areas.

The report suggests new mines would increase stress on water supplies, especially as southern Alberta grows and climate change alters rain and snow patterns. 

It estimates new mines will only be one-quarter reclaimed within 50 years — and those sites aren’t likely to return to what they once were.

The report concludes the government has failed to consider the cascade of environmental effects that coal mining would create, especially in combination with forestry and energy development. 

The report, requested by the Livingstone Landowners Group, has been filed with the government’s coal consultation committee.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Get away from the city – Rock Lake Lodge seeks maintenance and caretaker

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Wilderness Lodge Maintenance & Caretaker Needed

Click here to apply now.

Looking to get away from the city and experience the wilderness?

Rock Lake Lodge may have the perfect opportunity for you. WHO ARE WE? We are a lodge located in Rock Lake Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

Just a short distance away from a 90-foot deep lake with four species of fish, and the lodge is surrounded by wildlife and abounding nature.

Check out www.rocklakelodge.ca to have a look at the stunning surroundings, our lodge and cabins.

It’s not all work and no play up at Rock Lake Lodge! Some of the activities provided on site will be hiking, fishing, canoeing. and wildlife watching. This is a seasonal live-in position from June 2021 -Sept 2021.

We are seeking someone with the following:
-general handyman experience (able to use basic tools and general maintenance of the lodge)
-generator experience
-plumbing & electrical (basic)
-construction experience

Above all, we want someone who loves fishing!

Do you have experience with diesel generators? Log buildings? Chainsaws or log splitters? Let us know in your application. Even if your job history doesn’t reflect the above- your personal experiences may be exactly what we’re looking for!

Wage to be negotiated. This is a fulltime-temporary contract position.

Experience:

  • maintenance: 1 year (preferred)
  • diesel generator: 1 year (preferred)
  • rural water systems: 1 year (preferred)
  • chainsaw: 1 year (preferred)
  • plumbing: 1 year (preferred)
  • electrical: 1 year (preferred)
  • Driver’s License (MANDATORY)

Contract length: 3 months

Start date: Immediately

Click here to apply.

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