Os­borne needs to press his point

The Compass - - Editorial - Bur­ford Plough­man writes from St. John’s

In his re­cent in­ter­view on CBC TV, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tom Os­borne painted a gloomy pic­ture re­gard­ing the ob­tain­ing of sup­port from the rest of the coun­try for the chang­ing of the for­mula for equal­iza­tion as ours is based on the rev­enue from “re­newal re­sources.”

To quote an ar­ti­cle from The Globe and Mail from Jan­uary 2014, “Equal­iza­tion pro­gram a good in­ten­tion gone bad”:

“Re­cip­i­ent prov­inces such as Que­bec and Man­i­toba, whose Crown cor­po­ra­tions pro­duce large amounts of hy­dro power, de­lib­er­ately price their elec­tric­ity at be­low-mar­ket rates. This con­fers a wind­fall upon the res­i­dents of their prov­inces while keep­ing the true eco­nomic value off their pro­vin­cial books.”

If the ini­tial premise of the whole equal­iza­tion pro­gram was based on fair dis­tri­bu­tion of the whole coun­try’s wealth, so that the de­liv­ery of ba­sic ser­vices, such as ed­u­ca­tion and health care, was more or less equal across all re­gions, it would ap­pear that there is strong ev­i­dence for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view.

Maybe Min­is­ter Os­borne needs to take a more as­sertive ap­proach on New­found­land and Labrador’s be­half.

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