Isn’t Catherine Swift some form of economist? From today’s TJ:

Merging Atlantic Canada a tax boon?
Published Friday March 30th, 2007
Appeared on page A1/A8

Amalgamating the four Atlantic provinces under a single government would significantly reduce the tax burden facing New Brunswick businesses, says the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Catherine Swift, whose lobby group represents almost 2,000 New Brunswick businesses, has proposed the sweeping reform as a response to the high tax rates that have historically plagued the Atlantic provinces.

But she was recently convinced to revisit the well-travelled concept of regional amalgamation due to the small business tax increases in New Brunswick.

Someone should tell Ms. Swift that uder the current Equalization formula, efforts such as this would ultimately just result in less Equalization transferred from the Feds. That’s the whole premise behind Equalization. If you generate more own source tax you get less Equalization. So, almost by definition, if the four governments merged, dropped overall government costs by say 30% – my guess is that Equalization would drop by similar rate.

Besides, the unsaid reality of any Maritime Union or Atlantic Union is this. Government workers are the highest paid workers in Atlantic Canada. If you consolidated government and cut away thousands of workers, would it help your desire to grow the population or hurt it?

Just asking.

Oh, and for the CFIB the same question applies. Public sector workers in New Brunswick are now close to 20% of the total workforce (health care included) and they are the best paid. What would it do to your (i.e. the CFIB’s) clientele, if they lost a big chunk of their market? Sure, save a few hundred in taxes but…

I’m not a big fan of big government. Never have been. But when it’s all you got, you had better think twice. If we could replace big government with big business, then maybe…

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0 Responses to Huh?

  1. MonctonLandlord says:

    It makes more sense merging with Alberta.

    Imagine the capture in G&M: The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Province of Alberta and New Brunswick.

    Nova Scotia could merge with BC, PEI could merge with Quebec… Kind of like how Ontario embrasses Northern Ontario, 2 opposing economies.

    It is time to think outside the box, merging all Atlantic Provinces, how depressing.

  2. Monctonite says:

    I’m sure no one would mind dropping the “officially biligual” thing in the constitution.
    Or would the new Atlantic province adopt the officially bilingual status?
    Forcing Newfies or Capers to speak French. I can barely understand their English!

  3. scott says:

    Your definitely not a fan of small government either, or you wouldn’t mock all those in favour of this position.

    Btw, I guess that makes you a fan of??? I got it…fictional government. One that’s not big, one that’s not small, one that really doesn’t exist at all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Scott, you seem to be a bit tense lately. That was hardly ‘mocking’.

    The reality is that there is no such thing as ‘small government’. Supposedly the US love small government, yet they have the biggest one of all.

    This was just a political analysis, nothing more. Merging atlantic provinces simply ain’t going to happen. How do you sell New Brunswickers on Nova Scotia’s debt and tax load? How do you sell Nova Scotia on New Brunswick’s total cave in to the corporate elite? How do you sell PEI on both province’s complete avoidance of green power?

    And how do you even get Newfoundland to enter the building? That’s the reality. I suspect the main motive behind this is simply to make maritimers seem divided and therefore deserving of what they get. I think David’s analysis pretty much sums up the problems in NB. As said over at Alec’s blog, New Brunswickers know full well that Quebec screws them over when it comes to employment, so ‘interprovincial barriers’ are not the bugaboo that many businesses think it is. NB needs MORE provincial barriers-at least aimed at Quebec. Merging the provinces accomplishes absolutely nothing. Very few amalgamations come up with the cost savings predicted. The only time they do is when there is a government that happens to be running a crooked ship in the first place, and replacing them does the same thing.