As 2019 unfolds the federal government unveils its plans for the new year, including billions of dollars in equalization payments to five provinces for the next year.
The payments are a divisive subject, especially in western Canada, and most provinces that receive them are in the east.
Equalization payments are among four types of financial support to provincial and territorial governments – including Canada Health Transfer, Canada Social Transfer and Territorial Formula Financing – “to assist them in the provision of programs and services,” according to a Department of Finance website.
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador have not received equalization payments at least since 2010, a trend that will continue in the 2019-2020 period, according to Department of Finance data. Ontario joins those four provinces for 2019-2020 and will not receive equalization, a first since 2010 for the country’s most populous province. Its last equalization payment in 2018-2019 came to $963 million.
Quebec gets the highest amount, a consistent trend since 2010, and received $11.7 billion in 2018-2019.
Government data shows Quebec is expected to collect $13.1 billion in 2019-2020.
Manitoba will receive $2.2 billion, followed by New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with $2 billion, and Prince Edward Island with $419 million.
The total value of all kinds of transfers to territories and provinces will be $78.7 billion for 2019-2020.