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CTF: Three reasons to vote YES in the equalization referendum

EDMONTON, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released the top three reasons all Albertans should vote YES to abolish the equalization status quo on October 18.

“On Monday, Albertans have the opportunity to tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the equalization status quo must go,” said Kevin Lacey, Alberta Director with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Campaign Director for the Society of Albertans Against Equalization. “Voting YES in the equalization referendum is the crucial first step in Alberta’s fight for fairness.”

The top three reasons to vote YES in the equalization referendum include:

1. Give Alberta greater leverage to fight for a fair deal with Trudeau and the rest of Canada

For years, Alberta governments of all political stripes argued that Albertans have not received a fair deal. A YES vote in the referendum is Alberta politicians better leverage to bring Alberta’s legitimate grievances to the national stage.

A provincial referendum that results in a clear majority on a clear constitutional question would push the feds and provinces to negotiate on equalization, according to former Alberta finance and energy minister Ted Morton and Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel. Rainer Knopff, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, has also argued that the equalization referendum is needed to bring the rest of Canada to the table.

“It’s time to take Alberta’s fight for fairness from the premier’s table to the kitchen tables in the rest of Canada,” said Lacey. “Complaining about equalization has been a popular pastime for Albertans, but voting YES actually puts us in the fight for fairness.”

2. Reforming equalization will help promote natural resource development across Canada

Through equalization, politicians in other provinces can rely more on external tax dollars and less on sound policies to grow their economies and develop natural resources.

Since 2014, $215 billion worth of Canadian resource projects have been stalled or cancelled in part because governments, according to

“Equalization forces Alberta taxpayers to subsidize politicians in other provinces that seem intent on roadblocking our development and that’s not fair,” said Lacey. “A frank discussion about natural resource development is long overdue in Canada, and a YES vote drive that conversation.”

3. Equalization costs each Albertan $650 or $2,600 for a family of four this year

  • Equalization has cost Alberta taxpayers $67 billion since its inception in 1957

  • In 2021, equalization will cost Alberta taxpayers $2.9 billion, or $2,600 for an Alberta family of four

  • Albertans have received less than 0.02 per cent of all equalization payments. The last equalization payment Alberta received was in 1964-65.

You can find the CTF’s analysis and methodology for those numbers here:

“What are we getting for all the equalization dollars we pay? Blocked pipelines and carbon taxes,” said Lacey. “Voting yes in the Equalization referendum is a crucial step to show the rest of Canada that Albertans are tired of being treated like the cash cow for the rest of Canada.”

The Fight Equalization campaign is committed to winning the Oct. 18 referendum against Ottawa’s unfair equalization scheme. The campaign includes campaigns signs, advertising and an on-line presence.

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