Canada’s Damaging Regional Subsidies
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Canada’s Damaging Regional Subsidies


First, an acknowledgement of thanks to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for assistance with this speech. A difficult speech to give, and to hear, and how that is so. Canada’s crazy quilt of regional subsidies and how it is doing very serious harm to Ontario and the economic potential of the provinces at which it is aimed. The speaker’s belief that ultimately the system of regional subsidies has the potential to completely undermine the ability of Canada to compete in the global markets of the 21st century. First, a brief review of the system. Why the system is so damaging. Its impact on Ontario. Some illustrative figures. The human cost reflected in very bad policy choices. Ontarians’ mistaken belief that they are assisting economic growth in recipient regions. An explication of how that is not so. Equalization – what people believe and what is actually true. Factors unrecognized in the calculation of equalization entitlements. A factual and leadership vacuum in Ontario. Demands from other provinces. The leadership issue in terms of electoral reform. Borrowing an idea from the Americans. The actions Ontario’s legislators could take to deal with the issues mentioned. Some concluding thoughts.