Monday, August 20, 2012
It is interesting how Quebec has been a have not province since the beginning of the program. It is time that Quebec's socialism is no longer subsidized by capitalist Alberta. Equalization subverts the free market. OTTAWA - Canadians have given Quebec a quarter of a trillion dollars in equalization payments since 1957, half of all the money the program has handed out. Over that span of more than 50 years, Quebec has always been the biggest beneficiary, and has never been a net contributor to equalization. With Pauline Marois and her Parti Quebecois leading in the polls as the province approaches its Sept. 4 election, all that money doesn't seem to have won us friends or influenced people. Equalization started small, at just $139 million in its first year. But it has grown relentlessly, to more than $15 billion this year, of which Quebec got $7.4 billion. And since Pierre Trudeau jammed it into the constitution in 1982, it would be hard to get rid of. Supposedly the point of the program is to make sure people in poorer provinces get decent public services. But somehow, no matter how often it's redesigned, Quebec gets about half the money.