Alberta’s finance minister meets with federal finance minister, asks for immediate $1.7B equalization rebate

Alberta’s Finance Minister Travis Toews met with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau today and asked for equalization rebate

“We discussed the frustration Albertans are feeling over federal policies that are failing our province and the urgent need for action to support the Alberta economy,” said Minister Toews.

He said he asked an equalization rebate to address the problem that federal support for a hurting Alberta economy is arbitrarily capped, while transfer payments out of Alberta to other provinces continue without a cap.

READ MORE: Alberta contributes $240B to Canada in transfer payments last 11 years, takes nothing

“This can be solved by an immediate retroactive payment of $1.72 billion to cover what we should have received if the Fiscal Stabilization Program (FSP) were not capped for 2015-16 and 2016-17, plus the outstanding $251 million we are owed under the FSP for the year 2016-17.”

READ MORE: Alberta is facing a full-blown economic crisis and it needs support, not condescension

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews (Oct. 2019)

Toews said he also asked the federal minister to respect provincial jurisdiction by removing natural resources from the calculation of equalization entitlements and end the automatic escalation of the floor for equalization to ensure Albertans aren’t paying for ever-increasing equalization while struggling through the deepest recession in a generation.

“Address the inequity caused by the fall 2018 decision to favour manufacturing capital cost allowances over the energy industry when the energy industry was in the depths of an economic crisis. This decision irrationally favoured those who build vehicles that consume oil over the welfare of Albertans working in the energy industry. Providing the energy industry with an equal 100 per cent capital cost allowance would put them on even footing with manufacturers and American competitors.

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He also requested that the federal government follow through on the platform commitment to give ‘energy workers…training, support and new opportunities needed to succeed in the clean economy’ by investing in green jobs for well reclamation in Alberta.

READ MORE: CN Rail to send emergency propane shipments from Alberta to Quebec

Toews also told Minister Morneau the federal government needs to end the mortgage stress tests needlessly imposed on Albertans because of challenges in other parts of the country.

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“Immediate action on these items would back up the words we heard from Prime Minister Trudeau on election night, that he has heard our frustration and wants to be there to support us. I look forward to working with Mr. Morneau on these policies, because a strong Alberta is good for Canada, and a strong Alberta economy will support jobs and growth across Canada.”

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Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
Letter from Honourable Travis Toews to Honourable Bill Morneau – November 25, 2019
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