Ontario becoming a 'have not'
Province on track to get equalization payments by 2010, bank projects
Apr 30, 2008 04:30 AM
Queen's Park Bureau
A new report from Toronto-Dominion Bank yesterday warned that Ontario is on track to receive federal equalization payments for the first time.
A high dollar and a U.S. economic slowdown are hurting Ontario's export industries – witness 1,500 layoffs at General Motors in Oshawa and Campbell's in Listowel this week – while soaring oil and commodity revenues in western provinces make Ontario seem poor by comparison.
"Ontario is not the mighty king of the economy any more," said TD's chief economist, Don Drummond, predicting the province could get $400 million in 2010 and $1.3 billion the following year.
"It's one of the weaker partners, but again it's not so much Ontario's being weak as the other provinces are really roaring along."
But Ontario taxpayers would still be paying billions more into federal coffers than they get back from Ottawa for equalization, health and social programs, Drummond's report said.
The latest figures available show that in 2005, Ontario taxpayers sent $21 billion more to Ottawa in taxes than the federal government spent in the province.
That's proof the equalization formula – since 2007 based on a complex mix of economic data from 10 provinces, up from five previously – is "flawed" and in need of repair, said Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
I don't know how truthful that TD bank report is. The report writers may in fact be angling for some kind business in the form of economic stimulus packages by which TD will be right there to help, interest rates and all. Whatever the case may be, Ontario workers are hurting. How does mass immigration help them? They might not have a job but at least they have all that cultural diversity to cheer them up.
It's almost as easy to predict the economy as it is the weather. In times like these we need to make snap decisions that are in the best interests of Canadians and reducing Canada's immigrant intake is one such decision irrespective of intended immigration goals. Canada should reduce its immigration targets in the current economic environment because it is the right thing to do and tying immigration targets to the economic health of the country is the sane thing to do. Continuing to import a labour force when many Canadians are finding themselves out of work is unjust. Immigration should not trample on the birth rights of Canadians.