Someone sent me the relevant portion of the Canadian constitution to point out the federal government can’t deeply cut equalization payments (see below). I have read this before and am actually fascinated by the language of this section of the constitution.
It talks abou the national government responsibility to further economic development to reduce disparity in opportunities.
That is a madingly oblique statement but I read that to mean opportunities in the wider sense of that word – social and economic. If that’s the case, you could argue the feds are not living up to the constitution because of the significant out-migration since the repatriation of the constitution because of the lack of opportunity here.
EQUALIZATION AND REGIONAL DISPARITIES
36. (1) Without altering the legislative authority of Parliament or of the provincial legislatures, or the rights of any of them with respect to the exercise of their legislative authority, Parliament and the legislatures, together with the government of Canada and the provincial governments, are committed to
(a) promoting equal opportunities for the well-being of Canadians;
(b) furthering economic development to reduce disparity in opportunities; and
(c) providing essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians.
(2) Parliament and the government of Canada are committed to the principle of making equalization payments to ensure that provincial governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation.(98)