This will fuel even more anger in Western Canada.
While Alberta and much of Western Canada struggle economically, the Quebec government is running a budget surplus.
According to BNN Bloomberg, “Quebec’s fall economic update is offering more money for families, a reduction in hospital parking fees and a return to a single rate for the province’s subsidized daycare spots. Finance Minister Eric Girard said Thursday the province should finish the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a $1.4-billion surplus, fuelled by a 2.4 per cent increase in GDP in 2019.”
Of course, that last line is somewhat misleading. Quebec’s politicians aren’t running a surplus because their GDP went up, they are running a surplus because they receive about $12 billion in transfer payments yearly.
And as we know, a huge proportion of those transfer payments are funded by Alberta.
Alberta is struggling with their budget, having to make difficult choices in tough economic times, at the same time as Quebec’s government is offering more benefits. In fact, nearly 700,000 families in Quebec are going to get $779 every year in additional benefits.
This will once again show the unfairness of the current Confederation setup. Quebec’s government benefits dramatically from Alberta oil money, yet refuses to allow a pipeline through Quebec. Many Quebec politicians also demonize the Western Canadian energy sector, yet those same politicians are glad to take and spend the equalization money sent from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
This kind of system that takes advantage of Alberta while enriching other provinces simply cannot continue. If it doesn’t change – and fast – Canadian unity will continue to fracture.