Energy folly helped push Ontario into ‘have-not’ status

Economic wounds self-inflicted in service to energy fashion have helped push Canada toward uncharacteristic instability. An important balance point shifted in 2009 when Ontario, embracing 38% of the Canadian population, became a recipient province in the country’s equalization program. Using a formula based on net revenue per capita and tax-rate averages, the federal government receives equalization payments from comparatively wealthy provinces for distribution to poorer ones. The aim is to balance spending on social services. Before Ontario joined the group, so-called have-not provinces represented about a third of the Canadian population. Now the have-not share exceeds 70%. The majority...

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