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.