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 ReformWe’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.


Download for free. New episodes every second Wednesday. Tweet your questions and comments to @IRPP or @jbugiel.

Photo: Shutterstock by David P. Lewis


Do you have something to say about the article you just read? Be part of the Policy Options discussion, and send in your own submission. Here is a link on how to do it. | Souhaitez-vous réagir à cet article ? Joignez-vous aux débats d’Options politiques et soumettez-nous votre texte en suivant ces directives.