Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Equalization Bums

A harsh reminder about federal transfers by Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck:
If you live in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia or even Saskatchewan, you have every right to be livid with the decision to jack up the amount of federal money pouring into Quebec. After all, why should Quebec be rewarded for years of financial and political mismanagement when other provinces have worked hard to balance their books, cut taxes and improve productivity?

But if you live in Manitoba, you better -- as they say in Quebec -- keep your tongue in your pocket.

Because on a per capita basis, Manitoba gets far more from Ottawa than Quebec does.

Quebec is poised to receive just over $15 billion in federal transfers in 2007-08.

That's about $2,016 per Quebecer.

Manitoba is getting over $3 billion this year, or $2,686 per person. You do the math.

In fact, Manitoba is better only than Prince Edward Island ($3,456), Newfoundland ($3,028) and New Brunswick ($3,132) when it comes to reliance on federal transfers. Even Nova Scotia receives less per capita from Ottawa than Manitoba does.

He calls Manitoba a welfare bum, so what does that make PEI, Newfoundland and New Brunswick?