By Letter to the Editor on December 18, 2018.
Re: “Facts speak the truth on past PC governments,” Dec. 5
Mr. Taylor repeats a pernicious falsehood which is held as truth by many on the right of the political spectrum in Alberta. I do not accuse Mr. Taylor of lying, only of failing to understand the falsity of what he repeats. He referred to Alberta’s Heritage Fund and Alberta’s Sustainability Fund and he wondered how much more money would be in those funds if Alberta did not make equalization payments.
Jason Kenney repeated the same falsehood in the Sept. 7, 2018 News, where he said, “The ultimate leverage for Alberta is equalization. We contribute about $20 billion net to the rest of Canada each year, $200 billion in the last decade.”
The truth is that Alberta does not make any equalization payments. The Province of Alberta has never made such payments and it never will, and the reason is that Canada’s constitution has prohibited this since 1867, which is 38 years before Alberta even existed.
Our Constitution Act prohibits one level of government from taxing the other.
Equalization payments are made by the federal government. They are paid out from federal revenue, paid by the federal government to some provinces to help maintain certain standards of services to residents.
What Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kenney are really complaining about is how federally collected tax revenue is being spent. If they disagree with such spending, that is fair comment, but please, don’t try to portray this as a predatory and rapacious federal government somehow extorting billions from this province. It is not true. It does not happen.
Mr. Kenney, having been a federal cabinet minister in successive Harper governments, had a very good opportunity to change that which he now seems to find so wrong. Where was he? Yet he now perpetuates the falsehood for crass political gain. Given Mr. Kenney’s political experience, he must know that what he said is not true. He promotes a falsehood, he plays on people’s belief in it, and tries to gain from it. These are the hallmarks of a scam, yet he wants to be premier. He seeks support by fostering fear and divisiveness.
Space precludes my responding to other parts of Mr. Taylor’s letter, but one. He claims a carbon tax does not lower greenhouse gas emissions. Another falsehood. Please see the Dec. 3, 2018 letter in the News from Denis Hoffman.
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