Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has made headlines for his proposal to hold a referendum on equalization. Now, Canadian premiers have a long history of taking shots at equalization. But what’s different here is Kenney’s focus on fiscal stabilization. It’s a program most of us are likely unfamiliar with, or were until recently. But Kenney is tying these two programs together – describing fiscal stabilization as an “equalization rebate” – and saying that it, too, isn’t giving Alberta its due.
So, what exactly is fiscal stabilization, and how does it relate to equalization? Will these programs be reformed? Should they be?
Today on the podcast, we’re joined by James Feehan, an honorary research professor and former professor of economics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He’s the author of a recent IRPP Insight, Canada’s Equalization Program: Political Debates and Opportunities for Reform. We’re also joined by Trevor Tombe, an associate professor of economics and a research fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. He’s the author of another recent IRPP Insight, An (Overdue) Review of Canada’s Fiscal Stabilization Program.
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