Equalization a distorted fiasco

Re: History offers dose of oil-wealth irony, Letters, July 21.

To the Editor,

Re: History offers dose of oil-wealth irony, Letters, July 21.

I think that David Geselbracht’s “closer look at history” may need reading glasses.

His claim that, “Alberta received equalization payments until 1947” is odd because the equalization program started in 1957.

For the few who may have bought his claim that, “Czechoslovakia was part of the former Soviet Union”, that country was created out of the northern part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the First World War and incorporated Czech-speaking Bohemians and Moravians in the west and Slovaks of Slovakia in the east.

It was under Soviet ‘domination’ from the end of the Second World War to 1989, but was never part of the USSR.

Partition into the Czech Republic and Slovakia occured in 1993.

However, it’s not the world according to Geselbracht I take issue with, it’s the distorted ‘fiasco’ called equalization.

In theory, this program was meant to provide comparable levels of public services in every province, at comparable levels of taxation. In practise, it no longer works that way because of the formula used to calculate it.

It’s a noble idea that has evolved into creating dependency and an attitude of entitlement, particularly in Quebec. That province could be developing their vast timber, ore and hydro resources rather than relying on an annual $8 billion equalization handout that funds social programs the provinces paying into the program can only dream about.

Instead, Montrealers take to the streets protesting the lowest post-secondary tuition fees in the country. I’m sure people raising families around here would love to have Quebec’s universal $7 per day daycare program that tax dollars from all of us help to finance.

Government needs the political fortitude to give this program a major overhaul. Personally, I still think the Czechs and Slovaks have the right idea.

Jim Corder

Nanaimo

To the Editor,

Re: History offers dose of oil-wealth irony, Letters, July 21.

I think that David Geselbracht’s “closer look at history” may need reading glasses.

His claim that, “Alberta received equalization payments until 1947” is odd because the equalization program started in 1957.

For the few who may have bought his claim that, “Czechoslovakia was part of the former Soviet Union”, that country was created out of the northern part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the First World War and incorporated Czech-speaking Bohemians and Moravians in the west and Slovaks of Slovakia in the east.

It was under Soviet ‘domination’ from the end of the Second World War to 1989, but was never part of the USSR.

Partition into the Czech Republic and Slovakia occured in 1993.

However, it’s not the world according to Geselbracht I take issue with, it’s the distorted ‘fiasco’ called equalization.

In theory, this program was meant to provide comparable levels of public services in every province, at comparable levels of taxation. In practise, it no longer works that way because of the formula used to calculate it.

It’s a noble idea that has evolved into creating dependency and an attitude of entitlement, particularly in Quebec. That province could be developing their vast timber, ore and hydro resources rather than relying on an annual $8 billion equalization handout that funds social programs the provinces paying into the program can only dream about.

Instead, Montrealers take to the streets protesting the lowest post-secondary tuition fees in the country. I’m sure people raising families around here would love to have Quebec’s universal $7 per day daycare program that tax dollars from all of us help to finance.

Government needs the political fortitude to give this program a major overhaul. Personally, I still think the Czechs and Slovaks have the right idea.

Jim Corder

Nanaimo

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