June 18th, 2021

Letter: Logic behind equalization outrage does not follow

By Letter to the Editor on May 12, 2021.

Dear editor,

In response to Mr. Larry Samcoe’s May 6 editorial, “Alberta in Confederation.”

Mr. Samcoe repeats, and seems to believe, the old standby lie of the perpetually aggrieved among some conservatives when he comments on the source of federal government equalization payments, stating “…tax revenues from Alberta have been the primary contributor…” Do not many on the political right know that Alberta pays no tax of any kind to Ottawa, and has never paid any, because of Constitution Act, section 125? That law prevents Ottawa from taxing provinces and provinces from taxing Ottawa. This has been law for 38 years before Alberta even existed.

To be truthful, Mr. Samcoe ought to have stated that equalization payments are paid from federal tax revenue, some of which comes from some taxpayers who earn a lot of money, some of whom live in Alberta, and that some of those high-earning Alberta residents work in the oil and gas industry. That is the truth. The old lie that our province has paid and still pays billions of dollars to Ottawa is regularly trotted out and paraded around by some right-wingers, who are ever-eager to convince you to wallow with them in their intellectual mudhole of victimization. How does it logically follow that because some complainers in Alberta are unhappy with one aspect of federal spending, the province of Alberta is therefore at a disadvantage? It does not follow, nor can it follow.

The general theme of Mr. Samcoe’s editorial is that because some Albertans make a lot of money from oil and gas, Canada should therefore be run the way the right-wingers want it to be run. If that is not evidence of a brazen sense of entitlement, I don’t know what is. They are effectively saying to all Canadians, “Some of us are rich with oil and gas income, so all of you ought to do what we want.” The core concept of our political system is one voter, one vote. Alberta has 11% of Canada’s population, only a portion of whom are conservative, and only a subset of that portion have the sense of entitlement and promote the lie. You can surely do the arithmetic. Mr. Samcoe and his ilk seem disinclined to do so.

Gregory R. Cote


Share this story:
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fedup Conservative
Fedup Conservative
1 month ago

Gregory certainly has it right as those of us from the world of finance know. The lies Albertans are being fed is sickening. I still remember rich Albertans telling Ralph Klein not to cut our provincial taxes, they weren’t a problem, we can afford them they stated. Don’t forget how upset Klein’s daughter Angie was with her father for doing it.
Yet while this fool Jason Kenney slashes taxes for his rich friends he spreads the lies that it’s all Ottawa’s fault that we are broke. How stupid does he think we are.
All the studies point out that these phony conservatives, Reformers , are to blame giving away hundreds of billions in royalties and taxes and creating the mess we are in and not one of them has been smart enough to suggest the obvious solution to our problem, collect proper royalties, taxes, and health care premiums like Lougheed did and run this province properly like he did, and Alaska and Norway are doing.
As Gregory points out equalization payments come out of federal taxes that all Canadians pay into and it has nothing to do with why Alberta is broke, yet Kenney is playing mind games with Albertan trying to convince them it is. Even if he decided to sue Ottawa , like he is pretending he will do he would be defeated like he was with the Carbon Tax. He doesn’t have the right to tell Ottawa what they should do with their money.
Don’t forget he was a member of the Harper government who were responsible for creating the equalization formula and he is treating you like morons.
I suggest you read the following :”Debunked: Alberta doesn’t send the most money to Ottawa”

Lynn Thacker
Lynn Thacker
1 month ago

Mr..Cote, once again, uses the standard left wing ruse to oppose anyone who might comment about the net negative fiscal impact the Canadian equalization program continues to have on the Alberta economy. Mr. Samcoe’s reference to that fact is absolutely correct. Trying to confuse and distract the reader from the basic principle of this government mandated “monetary reallocation” is their only defence against this egregious federal program. It may have been a short term, well intended program when imposed over half a century ago but in reality became a permanent fiscal handicap for a few provinces (mostly Alberta) for decades. The simple fact is and Mr. Cote and his ilk cannot deny, that collectively, Alberta taxpayers have for decades paid ten’s of billions of tax dollars annually (over 600 billion in total) more to Ottawa than they receive back as transfers to their own province. This federal shortfall then has to be made up by other taxation means to have equivalent provincial infrastructure and services. I believe it is Mr. Cote who needs more arithmetic class time.

Fedup Conservative
Fedup Conservative
1 month ago
Reply to  Lynn Thacker

So where is your proof that we are wrong?

How is it that everyone who doesn’t agree with you gets automatically labeled a leftist when most of the true blue conservatives I know consider that you are wrong?
Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother in law of one of my uncles and I got to know about half a dozen of them and I know they would consider you wrong.

The big question is why are you believing the lies this Liberal turned Reformer , has never been a true conservative is feeding you and why have you ignored all the anger aimed at him over what he has been trying to do to this province, or don’t you care that he has been deliberately trying to destroy everything our conservative hero Peter Lougheed created for us, and doesn’t seem to care about the horrible mess he has made of the covid crisis and the lives lost? Along with the nightmare created for our doctors and nurses? The true conservatives in my world certainly do and have no intention of ever supporting him in the future, so why are trying to defend him?

The equalization program has done absolutely nothing to hurt Albertans however giving away billions in taxes and royalties certainly has if you had bothered to listen to what lawyers, accountants, oilmen, bankers and former MLAs have been saying over the years.

Would you be able to prove these studies are wrong in court if you were asked to do so? Lawyers know you couldn’t?
“Misplaced generosity: Alberta government set to forgo an additional $55 billion over the next three years”
“Royalties down 32% billions in federal revenues lost” make certain you read what Lougheed said.

Fedup Conservative
Fedup Conservative
1 month ago

So here is some more for these Albertans who think supporting reformers pretending to be conservatives is a smart idea.

“Why equalization is not unfair to Albertans “
“A $433 billion missed opportunity haunts Canada oil heartland”
Oilmen tell us that we lost more than the $575 billion this study points out because it doesn’t include the billions they gave away in lost Natural Gas royalties.
“Alaska Permanent Fund”
This fund points out that while every Alaskan , man , women and child has received around $45,000. each since 1982 and around $6000. over the the last few years in annual oil dividend cheques. Alaskans point out to those of us that have visited them that they pay no state taxes and their property taxes are next to nothing.
Albertans received a pathetic $400. and have been screwed out of all theirs and they have no one to blame but themselves.

What is so sicken about all this is that fact that we have had sarcastic comments hurled at us for trying to stop it from happening by many of our fellow seniors , just like Lynn is doing because they aren’t smart enough to understand it.

1 month ago

I bet she understands it’s 2021 and not 1970 you boob.