Equalization is a federal program where they spend more money in regions that are economically depressed. Full stop.
This five minutes 30 seconds is the best description I’ve heard of how equalization payments work in Canada. It’s two Albertan political strategists .
I’ll start you at 31:40 into the episode. Listen at least to the 37:10 mark.
We pay the exact same taxes (federal rate) in Alberta as they pay in Quebec…there’s no “I’m paying more because I’m a rich Albertan — you’re paying more because you’re rich.
Every province does a form of equalization…every city does a form of equalization, because we don’t make the same money and the reason we do a taxation system to begin with is to redistribute funds to those who need them.
Bonus quote, from later in the episode:
Ralph Klein was the one who started to establish this idea that we’re sending a cheque somewhere down East.
Well I’ll tell you something — before the 1970’s, we needed it too.
People have to remember that in Alberta we were a have-not province. Then we got a little bit of oil an gas going our way and things started to work for us. But it didn’t really start to work for us until the late 1960’s and the 1970’s.