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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Equalization Illustrated

Via Majere

Posted by Kate McMillan on May 31, 2005 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


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The Americans threw tea in Boston harbour and fired "the shot heard around the world" at Lexington for a lot less. The sooner Alberta is Free the better!

Posted by: michael shannon | 2005-05-31 1:18:01 AM

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The fiscal management is more complex, with millions being delved out, not within the equalization payments, but within 'special deals' to various provinces, within massive federal funding of industries in Quebec, and so on. But, the end result is the same: control of the electorate.

I'm aware that phrase 'control of the electorate' sounds like a 'hidden agenda', but I'm coming more and more to this conclusion.

Canada is not a democracy; the electorate has lost control of government, both in its fiscal management and in its decision-making. Instead, it is the electorate that is controlled - by what has emerged as an unelected and corrupt oligarchy.

How has this happened? It was inadvertent but could be predicted.
The first causal factor, I maintain, is bilingualism. This has reduced the size of the electorate who are able to move into key government positions. It has reduced this population base to 10% of the 80% anglophone, and 45% of the 20% francophone population. Only this reduced segment of the population can easily move into major gov't roles. The rest are ineligible or can only function in peripheral roles.

Second, is the fact that the majority of authoritative positions in this country are patronage; they are appointed. They are beyond the reach of the electorate. Further, they are appointed without discussion, without validation by any elected or other body, without accountability to the electorate. These positions far outnumber the 305 elected positions in the House of Commons - the only body which is elected in our gov't.
All members of Senate, the judges, the deputy ministers, the executives of all public businesses, the G-G, and many other major positions of authority in Canada - are all patronage. None are elected. And they are all appointed from ONE office - the PMO.

This means that in Canada, the massive majority of gov't decision-making and power, is based in ONE office, that of the PMO, and is totally and completely out of the hands and knowledge of the electorate.

This is not a democracy. The only elected body is the 305 House of Commons..and over the past few years, this House has lost almost all its power.

Further, what has developed, is a corrupt Cartel, the PowerCorp/Desmarais/Magma Cartel, which has effectively taken over the political reins of this country. It controls the Liberal party. Why? Because this control enables its business ventures to function without competition. The political arm prevents other businesses from starting up and competing with this cartel.

The electorate is kept silent by equalization payments, which have set up a culture and economy of dependence. Complete dependence on the federal handouts. With high taxes, it is difficult to start up businesses anywhere. And, the public service functions as the major employer in many areas.

Why haven't Canadians realized what has happened? There is massive propaganda via the MSM (I saw part of CTV's Mike Duffy and Gushing Jane Taber's junk last evening; I couldn't watch it; it was pure propaganda). And, anti-Americanism is a key tactic to disperse attention.

My question, however, is- how long can this fiscal situation last? How long can Canada function within a political oligarchy that prevents competitive industries from developing and maintains the population, via equalization, in a 'middle range' lifestyle. This is effectively a no-growth economy. How long can this be maintained? How long can Canada be a no-growth, non-competitive economy?

I'm going to predict that with the rise in population of the West - such a repressive 'keep the population down' economy and political system can't be maintained. Propaganda won't be enough.

Posted by: ET | 2005-05-31 5:12:20 AM

Please post the equalization formula for the 1980s.
There are good times and bad times in each region of this country. Alberta is living it up now, but it hasn't always been that way.
Alberta owes a debt to Canada for her hard times.

As often happens the "nouveaux riche" forget where they came from.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 6:25:31 AM

There is more to this story.
Read this:

Please note page 11 (12 including cover page) of the document, which shows the volatility of equalization entitlements.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 6:58:48 AM

Gamblog is correct, in the recent past, Alberta _was_ entitled to equalization payments. It took a decade of legal wrangling to get Ottawa to admit there was money owed, and Alberta finally settled 'out of court' for a fraction of the entitlement.

Posted by: JM | 2005-05-31 7:12:25 AM



Could you please send some more intelligent people to debate with than the predictable sad-sacks that have been trolling around here.

Warren Kinsella, at least you can write. And it's fun to pick on you.

I feel bad having to constantly bitch-slap "A Hermit" "Gamblog" and "Winston" upside the head. Where's the challenge? It's like shooting fish in a barrel. (Russil Wvong gets a pass since, even though he's in love with that fence, and is obviously confused about the big picture, at least he has a modicum of native intelligence and the capacity for correcting his ways. And "TB" just pops up once in a while to ejaculate some pithy glibberism.)

Obviously those Three Stooges are just cutting and pasting from Bill Graham's speeches (not the SF BG!) and G&M editorials. They make Belinda Stronach look like a genius. If any of them actually had anything intelligent or witty to say, I would drop dead on the spot in complete and utter shock.

So again. Please. I beg of you. Send your best over here. (Someone like a young... a young... hmmm... can't think of any Glib or Dipper charismatic intellectual titans they could model themselves on....) Maybe some bright young thing who's been conned into gliberalsim all her life, and hasn't had the chance to be deprogrammed yet.

Preferably someone female, cute, hot, charming, witty, and single; who lives in Winnipeg and is a good cook; and who is smart enough that she will inevitably wise up and realize that she's really a conservative.

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 7:29:07 AM

The USA does not fund its have-not states to the extent that Canada does. In the US, there is no constitutional requirement for such transfers, and the transfers are usually for specific purposes. In Canada, the transfers are unconditional (no specific purpose) and the transfers are the basis of the financial constitutional and economic infrastructure. The problem with an economy that bases itself on equalization and this is along with all the other transfers of money - is that it is a reductionist economy..

It reduces the population to one economic level -and this level is achieved regardless of entrepreneurship, innovation, work. That's the paternalism of socialism. It actually inhibits economic growth. There are no incentives to develop local industries, indeed, there is a strong incentive NOT to do so, for the financial and other costs of such investment exceed the input from equalization.

Furthermore, if a province does remove itself from equalization, as did Alberta, its surplus will be taken from it, rather than allowing it to keep that surplus and reinvest it in expanding its economy.

The nature of equalization payments is that they inhibit growth, for they take away the surplus and give it to no-surplus economies. The no-surplus or have-not economies become completely dependent on this input for their daily economies function within a dependent mode.

A centralist gov't, operating a reductionist economy, is actually establishing a no-growth economy. This is because the insistence on homogeneity means that no surplus is created in the local areas. Surplus of both businesses and citizens is taxed away. But, surplus is required in a growth-industrial economy! Otherwise, the long term investments required by industrialism can't take place. And that is exactly what we find in Canada. Private industrial dev't is limited, because the gov't will not permit surplus economies...and instead operates within a reductionist/redistributive economy.

Posted by: ET | 2005-05-31 7:36:49 AM

Okay we get it. You want Canada chopped into pieces the Newfies to starve as opposed to wealth distribution to different geographical areas.
You do realize however that the poor masses are just going to move to Alberta and the population will grow from 2.5 million to 30 million and you will then understand the need for equalization payments. It's to keep the rif raff from pillaging Alberta of all its temporary wealth.

I think there is a happy medium between the two scenarios.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 8:01:06 AM

Thank you for your pointless insults Brian. They really add to the discussion.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 8:05:37 AM

Here's "Gamblog" to ET:

"You want the Newfies to starve"

And then to me"

"Thank you for your pointless insults Brian. They really add to the discussion."

Sorry if this appears to be some kind of petty squabble, but I think it perfectly illustartes what goes on in Canada every day. In the media, in the courts, in government, in the schools. Liberals make insulting, and condescending and absurd statements. They lie, and twist the facts, and slander, and misrepresent. Then, if you point out their errors, and dare to satirize them, they start crying, or run off to some Kangaroo Court, or make a plea for "a return to decency and decorum and respect." (Sound familiar? Martin? Stronach?). Then they quickly go back to their scummy ways.

What's happening is that fewer and fewer Candians are willing to play along.

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 8:39:26 AM

"Okay we get it. You want Canada chopped into pieces the Newfies to starve as opposed to wealth distribution to different geographical areas."

You see, this is the problem which socialism means to address. People in certain parts of the country are just too stupid and ignorant to start businesses, attract investment and take care of themselves, let alone take care of their families. Someone has to do it for them. Newfoundland has no resources, the ground is mostly quicksand and no one could ever build a factory there. Even if you could design some kind of Buck Rogers floating assembly plant, you'd be up against the severe congenital retardation of the typical inhabitant. And it's far too distant from potential markets, and there is no possible way of moving materials, people and information on and off the island. That will have to wait until some kind of hyperspace travel or teleporter beam is constructed.

Until then, please understand that equalization is not a welfare program, but a vital lifesaving operation which must continue for the foreseeable future. We share, because we care.

Posted by: Newfs are dumb | 2005-05-31 8:41:58 AM

Ahh, Gamblog - so that's the real function of equalization? To keep the 'riff raff' from coming to Alberta?

So, now we have it; equalization is meant to keep the unwashed, unkept and bedraggled in their hovels...while the wealthy elite whoevers dance the night away. Simplistic nonsense.

First - the Newfies weren't starving before they joined Canada - and Canada gobbled up its vitality and resources. Second, if the federal gov't would leave them and their resources alone, they are quite capable of developing things on their own.

Second, people aren't riff raff. And what is wrong with people moving to Alberta? No, get your statistics straight; the population of Alberta won't move to 30 million; that's the population of all of Canada. That won't happen even in one-two generations.

The have-not provinces are maintained as static 'lower class to lower middle class', without the ability to pick themselves up, because of high taxes and because they've developed economies utterly dependent on the federal handouts. Consider how enormous our public service is in Canada and how most new jobs are primarily in the public, never the private, sector. So- it's a false population base. their population is higher than it should be. Remove the false economies, reduce taxes and allow them to develop their own private industries, proportional to the real not false carrying capacity of that economy.

So what if they move to Alberta? They'll find jobs there.

What Ottawa should do, is reduce taxes - both personal and business taxes, and encourage the private, not public, development of secondary industries in Canada.

What Ottawa is doing now is dangerous. The prime industrial dev't in Canada is raw resource extraction. Rather similar to the Arab States. This is, as you are aware, a superificial economy, for - what happens when the raw resources (oil, hydro, lumber, water) run out? But - that's all that Ottawa focuses on. Then, it taxes these resources enormously and does zilch about helping the secondary economy develop. That's what should develop - the secondary economies. But, since the population doesn't have surplus funds...it's foreign investment that sets up our factories, our shopping malls, our businesses. Not Canadians.

Just think of the recent Wal-Mart situation in Quebec. Wal-Mart picked up and left the town..and the townspeople were furious with them. Why? Because Wal-Mart's sole role was to Provide Jobs For Quebecers. What did the Mayor say? He didn't say - 'heck, we're going to start our own type of Wal-Mart; we'll develop our own business here'. No. He said - "So? We'll get Zellers in here. Or Sears".

My point is - it never occurred to him that the local people themselves should start their own business. Someone else has to do it, and the local people will work there.

And that's Canada.

Posted by: ET | 2005-05-31 8:48:13 AM

Remember the Glib ad just before the last election?

If you were unaware of the issues, you'd think that the Conservatives wanted to build a fleet of aircraft carriers, inflict some sort of mysterious disease on all women, and then blow your head off with a headgun.

When people responded reasonably (pointing out that the ships that the CPC proposed buying were not the ones pictured in the ad, that the firearms registry has absolutely nothing to do with handguns) then they're accused of being picky and quibbling.

If they respond in kind, then they're "hateful" angry" "intolerant".

I checked out the MSM news on the weekend. They all had stories about the lack of civility in politics "these days" (as if Trudeau never told an MP to "Fuck off" in parliament). And every channel had a clip of Stephen Harper being "nasty".

What is he saying in that clip? He's saying, "The PM continues to see his government go down the toilet."

That wasn't an insult. That was an observation.

Stronach acts like a whore, and then goes around demanding respect for her "difficult decision" and "regretting" the "hurtful" words that were said about her.

Right, so she can ACT despicably, but noone is allowed to MENTION that fact?

As for "Gamblog", you sad creature:

"Thank you for your pointless insults Brian"

"Pointless"? I don't think so.

"Insults"? You're kidding right? I'm talking about issues here? If I started actually insulting you you'd probably end up committing suicide after realizing what an oxygen-thief you are. So I won't. I'll just continue being civil.

Cry me a river.

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 8:57:33 AM

Let me lower myself to treating :Gamblog" as an equal, for just a minute.

He writes:

"The poor masses are just going to move to Alberta and the population will grow from 2.5 million to 30 million.... [Equalization payments are ] to keep the rif raff from pillaging Alberta."

Does that mean that immigration is bad?

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 9:05:55 AM

ET, it was sarcasm.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 9:09:26 AM

Gamblog sez Alberta was a recipient of equalization in the 80's... well possibly. But does the guy ever wonder why this might have happened? Of course not! That's ancient and rewritten history courtesy of the thieving Liebrals. The history of the horrific NEP has already been smoothed out by the Liebral spin doctors so you would hardly know about the rape of the West by the Liebral Mafia hordes. Someone with an old Western history book could tell us how many Billions upon Billions were sucked out of the West and totally devestated Alberta's economy in the 80's. But then that never did bother the Liebral flock... on to the next sucker!

Posted by: Slim | 2005-05-31 9:12:50 AM

What Gamblog and his ilk do not understand is that wealth is created. If you remove the impediments for ecomonic growth{ie: high taxes) the marketplace and human nature will take over.
This has been proven time and again, but they refuse to look at the evidence.

Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-05-31 9:21:12 AM

Slim, I'm just looking at the numbers not the conspiracy theories to destroy the west.

"Well possibly" Slim? They did receive equalization payments.
Maybe Alberta should focus on building strong industries like Ontario that have nothing to do with oil and oil related products.
Raking in hoards of cash due to high energy prices is no reason for some Albertan's to be so smug. It is on the backs of everyone that fills up their car in this country. How’s that for wealth distribution?

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 9:22:43 AM

Which strong industries are you talking about,The auto industry is tanking their other manufacturing is only competetive when the canuck buck is devalued. this is a stupid point to make.

Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-05-31 9:27:01 AM

I'm sorry, Gamblog-san.

I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

I was only trying to challenge you, stiffen you up a bit. I guess you have trouble rising to the occasion. I realize now that you can't help making such limp arguments. Someone less crude than I might suggest that you shouldn't come to a swordfight with nothing but a limp weenie in your hands. That would be an atrocious and insulting thing to say.

Anyway, I really do appreciate having you around here, it saves me from having cut & paste from Macleans to find examples of glib fuzzy illogic.

By the way, you wrote::

"The poor masses are just going to move to Alberta and the population will grow from 2.5 million to 30 million.... [Equalization payments are ] to keep the rif raff from pillaging Alberta."

Again, does that mean that immigration is bad?

Posted by: Belinda Stronach | 2005-05-31 9:35:38 AM

HEY! You lib Ho! That's identity theft!

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 9:37:56 AM

There is more to the world then cars and oil.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 9:40:36 AM

Belinda, Immigration isn't bad, but the entire country moving to Alberta might be a strain.
The riff raff I was referring to were the liberal masses and the PC people like me everyone here loves to hate.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 9:45:25 AM


And your point is that AB has only an oil industry is it. Yes ,and only ON has financial and a service industry.

I think Brian's description of your abilities is becoming more apparent

Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-05-31 9:49:04 AM

No my point is that Ontario is not just about cars.
We all know Alberta's source of income that subsidizes the economy is oil.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 9:53:15 AM

Watching your posts, Gamblog, is like watching a bad accident. Although you know you should stop looking, curiousity in the gruesome forces you to. Firstly, not that I know anything about the NEP, but I suspect it contributes directly to the numbers of which you seem to be extremely familiar - unless there is a lack in context being experienced.

Since I'm idly musing, I wonder how many of those strong Ontario industries were/are built on the back of the federal government. Probably none.

And I guess Alberta should be the apologist for having done so much with the resources at its disposal. If it was a more polite and courteous province, it would not develop the resources of which there is an global insatiable desire and look to Ontario to provide us with equalization payments. After all, why work when you don't have to, right? We could all just suck off the teat of those strong industries in Ontario that have nothing to do with oil and oil related products.

It all begs the question: Why villify Alberta for giving people jobs? Why such contempt for people who leave a province where there are no jobs (not in small part to the equalization welfare state) to find gainful employment in a province that needs workers? It seems logical to me and thousands of other job seekers every year. Is this some sort of misconception of the masses?

As an aside, having a burgeoning oil industry does more for promoting alternative industries than anything else could (well, except for our tax dollars being doled out to Liberal-friendly corporations, of course.)

Posted by: Ham | 2005-05-31 9:58:00 AM

Alberta was a recipient of equalization in the 80s?

I remember the NEP, businesses drastically scaling back or going out of business altogether, sky high mortgage rates (mine was 18.75%), people losing their homes and white collar workers in the unemployment lines.

I'm so glad we got equalization payments here, otherwise life might have been a tad unpleasant.

Gamblog, IIRC oil and gas revenues accounted for 19% of the Alberta budget in 2004. Oil and gas isn't the sugar daddy you're making it out to be. Also, under Getty, there was both oil and gas revenues, ridiculous estimates of the price of oil and spending and debt out of our ears. Alberta's only invoking envy across the country because Klein came in and made it a priority to quit spending like the money would never run out. If a Getty was still in charge, Alberta would be an economic basket case, regardless the price of oil.

Klein said that we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. This applies to every other province. Cut back on the expenditures, leave money in the earners' pockets and watch the economy take off.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-05-31 10:09:45 AM

Gamblog that's one of the issues involved in the Alberta separation movement. We would LOVE to keep our resource revenue here at home in order to develope more sustainable industries. That would help protect us from the NEP's of the future, as well as insure our growth and prosperity while limiting dependence on nonrenewable resources.
I think most Albertans would agree that we have discharged our debt to federal Canada.

Posted by: Polly | 2005-05-31 10:10:36 AM


"This is, as you are aware, a superificial economy, for - what happens when the raw resources (oil, hydro, lumber, water) run out?"

Poor choices for"running out". Hydro, forest products and water are all renewables. Oil will be phased out and replaced over the next century with gas and coal-1000 years worth in Alberta and BC. Saskatchwan has uranium. Resource industries are currently and for the foreseable future, the only competitive advantage Canada can muster. This would be the case even if we could implement property rights, remove the dead hand of government, its entitlements and rent seekers. "Superficial" is a word I would use to describe secondary industries that require such artificial support.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-05-31 10:14:33 AM


You work with what you got . ON has a manufacturing base because they have the population . AB has oil which feeds their econ.
Hawaii has a paradise so tourism is their mainstay.

Feeding endless amounts of tax dollars to the maritimes and others denies the natural progression of things . If there is no chance of making it in St. Johns then it is time to go, this has been the way of man since time began.

Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-05-31 10:15:51 AM

The issue here is Alberta's contempt for having to help out the rest of the country during their good times.
You may as well have won the lottery. The oil under your feet and in the tar sands is not yours anymore then it is mine. You are benefiting from nothing more then the luck of living in Alberta and there is no reason not to spread the fortunes around.
It is the golden rule to do on to others, as you would have them do onto you.

As for Ontario it is private enterprise not government that has resulted in development here, perhaps a different story in Ottawa, but not the Big Smoke.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 10:21:41 AM

Kathryn, I understand there is other industry in Alberta. It is the 19% that puts you over the top. In economies when it is good it's good and growth seems limitless, but without those oil revenues it would be a much greater battle to keep taxes as low as they are and still provide services.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 10:28:04 AM

I forwarded Gamblog's arguments to King Fahd, the Ayatollahs and Hugo Chavez:

"You may as well have won the lottery. The oil under your feet is not yours anymore then it is mine. You are benefiting from nothing more luck, and there is no reason not to spread the fortunes around. It is the golden rule to do on to [sic.] others, as you would have them do onto [sic.] you."

And to Fidel Castro:

"You may as well have won the lottery. The sun shining over your head and all the hookers in Cuba are not yours anymore then they are mine. You are benefiting from nothing more luck, and there is no reason not to spread the fortunes around. It is the golden rule to do on to [sic.] others, as you would have them do onto [sic.] you."

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 10:31:34 AM


As glibs are so fond of saying: "Get over it!"

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 10:33:51 AM

Gamblog, we (Albertans) don't have contempt for helping out the rest of the country: If a Newfoundlander is out of work, by all means, he/she is more than welcome to move here to get work. We do have a problem with sustaining a system where the work/resources run out, so the rest of Canada has to fork out more just to allow the unemployed to collect their EI cheques.

Alberta may have oil, but oil doesn't drill itself. People have to actualy work to get it out. And the oil belongs to those who have the ability and work ethic to extract it. There's no such thing as "luck of living in Alberta." A very large percentage of Albertans used to be from the east. If jobs were hereditary, yeah, you could say we're lucky to live here. But in Canada, we can move around freely and that means sometimes, you go where the work it.

Posted by: Shabbadoo | 2005-05-31 10:38:14 AM

What are you talking about? Was it Alberta that soiled its diaper over the 'fiscal imbalance' between provinces? Before you daringly point your finger, make sure you're not staring in the mirror first. Blind jealousy is not becoming of you.

And just how do you think oil from under our feet and in the tar sands becomes available - the smug fat cats just press the big red 'pump more oil' button? I guess only private enterprise in Ontario is based on hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit.

Posted by: Ham | 2005-05-31 10:39:36 AM

Ham to Gamblog:

"Blind jealousy is not becoming of you."

I disagree.

Blind jealousy, and every other kind of vice, is very becoming of her. It suits her soooo well.

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-31 10:42:59 AM

So those were private sector dollars the Gov. gave the big three a few years back so they wouldn't pull out of Canada.

Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-05-31 10:43:39 AM

Gamblog, I agree to a point that oil and gas revenues help to keep taxes low and services flowing. The most important part of the equation is the political will to carefully and prudently spend tax dollars.

As I said, Getty couldn't spend money fast enough, the debt was huge and the rest of the country wasn't ranting about greedy Alberta. If you live in another province, start ragging on your politicians to get your financial house in order.

Every other province has both natural and human resources. What more do you need to kick start your economy besides the government getting out of the way?

Look at the Koreas. Ethnically and linguistically, the population are one. The South is a free-market capitalistic democracy. The North is government controlled hellhole run by a hereditary nutcase. Quick, which country would you pick to move to?

Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-05-31 11:01:43 AM

Bunk of Canada
Dubya’s administration is always waiting for advice, we’re sure, from the dreamy (and squeaky clean) north about ficalist policies and stuff. I see that our head fiscalist, David Dodge of the Central Canuckian Bank, scolds Uncle Sam for spending too much and living beyond his means.

Well, David, here’s some advice you can pass along to PmPm: if you’re so concerned about the US trade imbalances and budget deficits and all that jazz, give Dub a call, tell him you realize there’s a war on and we appreciate the sacrifices America and its military has made to fight it for the rest of us, and would he like some help paying for it. Maybe PmPm could get some others on side, like maybe Jack Chirac. He must have some farm subsidies (or sumthin’) he could sacrifice for the war effort in Iraq, now that the EU’s on life support and all.

How about that, David?



Head fiscalist: Dodge, David.

How about that, P. Martin?

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-31 11:15:57 AM

There is only one fiscal policy/equation that concerns the federal liberal cartel:

Dependence = Voter base

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-05-31 11:25:10 AM

Gamblog did you know Edmonton is rated the MOST economically diversified economy in Canaduh? Not quite as dependent on oil and gas as you would have us believe, eh?

And did you realize that oil and gas takes a fair bit of work, investment and high-technology to get to market? Not quite as easy as opening up the taps as you imply. Course if we were awash in Liebral slush funds out West, maybe we could develop petroleum a bit faster, or we could all just go on pogey and enjoy the summer too!

Posted by: Slim | 2005-05-31 11:37:13 AM

People also forget that the auto industry in Ontario and Quebec is only there because of massive subsidies to the automobile and auto parts (Magna) companies. No I don't mean Industry Canada handouts (only), I mean the removal of health costs and a large chunk of the pension costs from the auto companies and onto the taxpayer. We can argue about the efficiency and desirability of taxpayer-funded health care, but it _is_ a huge subsidy to the auto companies. Is Toyota planning a new factory in Woodstock(?) because the weather is nice? or the scenery? If not for this subsidy to the multinational/transnational auto companies, ToyotaFordGMNissanDCX would be building even more in Mississippi or Texas.

Posted by: JM | 2005-05-31 11:42:28 AM

I don't understand how some of you think an argument or discussion is supposed to work. You have every right to object with my opinions, but why the need to bastardize what I've said or be so insulting? You don't counter a point by calling someone names.
I appreciate the Kathryn's of this site who don't run from an argument by screaming insults, but believe in positive discourse and finding common ground.
More Kathryns less Brians or what is the point?
It is quite Un-Canadian and I'd venture to guess Un-Albertan to act any different.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-31 11:44:14 AM

Gamblog, I'm not sure why you've become so offended by people pointing out some obvious discrepancies in your comments (Brian aside - he seems to have it out for you.) The only problem is the statements you are making are presented as fact, not opinion.

Posted by: Ham | 2005-05-31 11:58:29 AM

"People also forget that the auto industry in Ontario and Quebec is only there because of massive subsidies to the automobile and auto parts (Magna) companies. No I don't mean Industry Canada handouts (only), I mean the removal of health costs and a large chunk of the pension costs from the auto companies and onto the taxpayer."

Companies pay health premiums for their employees. Employees in Ontario pay health premiums now as well. These premiums pay a large part of the costs of providing government health care. Automakers such as Toyota and their employees pay a very large amount of corporate tax and income tax to the government. The employees also pay a huge amount of sales tax on everything they buy, and EI is sucked out of them at a far higher rate than they collect it. Since automaking is probably the biggest and most profitable moneymaker in the economy after petroleum, it is highly unlikely that taxpayers are "subsidizing" this industry. Most of the rest of the non-government industries in Ontario actually live off the automakers (chemicals, banks, insurance, etc.) and of course the government "industry" in Ontario consists of parasites who live off everyone else.

And the pension costs part is a joke. The private automakers' pension plans dwarf the CPP program. And in any case, the auto employees' meager CPP income after age 65 has been more than paid for by their own and their employer's premiums.

That's the trouble with subsidies: the government SOBs who steal the money from you in the first place then act like they are doing you a huge favour when they give a little of it back.

Posted by: A Little Common Sense | 2005-05-31 1:49:55 PM

No longer living in Alberta, I don't have a financial stake in equalization payments (expat living in the States). As has been pointed out by others, the dependency created by welfare has real, long-term harm. As a resident of North America, I do have a vested interest in seeing other parts of North America (ie, the maritimes, Quebec, etc.) creating prosperous societies. You cannot do that under hand outs and tight regulations.
I happen to live in a state that is mostly desert. We're coming out of a 7-year drought that saw resevoirs reach worrying levels. While there is a history of mining and agriculture, these are being rapidly replaced by software, construction, manufacturing, finance and other jobs. Unemployment is about 4% (give or take a couple tenths).
And look at Hong Kong. Large amounts of wealth were developed not because of natural resources but because of people. Wealth isn't made out of the ground. Its made by people, and the best way to do this is for the government to make clear rules, enforce them equally, and get out of the way. Let bad companies die, prosecute those that cheat, and even praise those that succeed.
I'm also tempted to look at Venezueala, where the country is descending into a predictable mess because of corruption. A corrupt government should never be tolerated. Sadly, it appears Canadians are willing to do this. That, more than the equalization payments, is why I would support an independent Alberta. Providing assistance to others is one thing. To be robbed and lied to? Quite another.

Posted by: Half Canadian | 2005-05-31 3:02:05 PM

Yup it's called Lake "ONTARIO" not Lake Canada, so lucky those Upper Canadians. Oh, and the CDN Shield, the mining, the forests, the climate and again, the seaport; all LUCKY to have beneath your feet.

Let's turn to hydro rich Quebexico. Lucky power deals. Again, a seaport for shipping and manufacturing. Lucky. So many French payees to pay off. Again, lucky, lucky, lucky. Let's not forget having produced all the PMs except for about 30 years of CDN history.

The Maritimes *had* a fishery until Upper Canada traded it away for things to benefit the centre. Same for BC, fish and forests. Lucky for the centre, not so lucky for the provincial *marks* in the CONfederation.

The Prairies suffered the Crow Rate for DECADES as well as the CWB anti-freedom gov't monopoly. The NEP was set up to TAKE, not SHARE.

Albertans still haven't heard ONE sorry reason why Canada benefits them, or ever has. Heck, bilingualism costs us $875Million/year to propagandize to 80%, their need to become the remaining 20%, for the sake of the "country".

Alberta has paid enough for this catastrophe and when the closet Liberal Ralph goes (the next Belinda), with any LUCK, we'll have the Separation Party in power and we can put up a team to play AGAINST "Canada" (or maybe by then she'll adopt the name Corruptistan) in int'l hockey.

I can't wait!

Posted by: wharold | 2005-05-31 4:08:27 PM


"As for Ontario it is private enterprise not government that has resulted in development here"

I thought you were against private entreprise?

You referred to yourself as "one of the riff raff".
Presumably 'the riff raff' are unlucky compared to Alberta's lucky citizens?
Well, Alberta isn't lucky; its individual citizens and immigrants from across the country and globe are hard-working and intelligent. Money doesn't magically come from the sky or the ground due to luck, it is created by human ingenuity and work.
If you learnt more about the tenets of capitalism you would realize that you are not just one of the poor unlucky riff raff, but a self-confident individual excited about pursuing her dreams in a free society. (You'd probably want to move to Alberta too, I'm an East Coaster and everyone here does)

Posted by: Charlote | 2005-05-31 7:34:23 PM

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