The National Post is reporting this morning that the Federal government is enriching the Equalization program by $900 million in its next budget. It is also proposing to transfer another $2 billion a year to all the provinces on a per capita basis. Quebec is said to be the big winner (no surprise here) with $1.1 billion in new funding (between the Equalization and other transfer increases).

Now, it doesn’t state the NB numbers but because NB is over twice as dependent on Equalization as Quebec (per capita), I figure that NB should get at least $150M more from this plan. $50M as our share of the $2B (2.5%) and about $100M out of the Equalization enrichment.

Anyway, wouldn’t it be neat if Graham Jr. allocated this entire amount to economic development? Given the campaign promises, this is unlikely but a guy can always wish.

By the way, what’s a Tory again?

It will be interesting to see how they accomplish this. Letting the provinces keep directly more money, one would think, (such as cutting taxes at the Feds and allowing the provinces to make up the difference) would be more ‘conservative’ that doling out more funds in a way that can be cut back on the whim of the Feds.

But that ties your hands more in the ‘lean’ years which one would expect are coming at some point.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It also makes you look like a good guy when you hand out big cheques with a smile. When you have a minority government you have to ‘play nice’. As some tory bloggers will state, they just have to ‘play the game’ til those quebecers and ontarians are suckered into giving them a majority-then we’ll see some changes.

  2. MonctonLandlord says:

    He might respectfully decline the offer to be on the road to self-sufficiency! We all know that econ dev is the answer, but with only 2% of the citizens that thought econ dev should be an election issues, i doubt that we can lobby for this, but, I appreciate your efforts DC, many do read and notice what is happening arround them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure that’s the case. I’ve never seen good polls done on that. However, the ‘conservative theme’ has done its damage and economic development is now seen as throwing money at friends of politicians or bad ideas-which it sometimes is.

    Now that I think of it, I think I like the idea more of getting other departments like culture, health, transportation, education thinking along economic development lines. The reason for that is that it doesn’t cost as much and can pay out dividends.

    When people hear economic development it means tax dollars for multinationals, or handouts. Even here we see the idea of throwing money at ‘marketing’, which has no guarantees of success. So you can understand why people with more immediate issues would rank it low.

    There’s no doubt people don’t like seeing most of their friends and relatives leave, and no doubt most know about the reliance on equalization. But without concrete steps to turn that around, it just sounds like public relations.

  4. David Campbell says:

    Glad to see you are coming around to the notion that just above everything government does can influence economic development – positively or negatively.