Strong Ontario benefits all
TheStar.com – opinion/letters – Re: Ontario: Cash cow for the rest of Canada, Opinion Feb. 25
Published On Sun Feb 27 2011. Dwight Duncan,
Ontario Finance Minister
Ontario recognizes that a stronger Canada benefits all Ontarians. We are proud of the role that Ontario has played for over 50 years in ensuring reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation in all provinces.
Yet today, a disparity exists in service levels between have and have-not provinces. A recent study on equalization concluded that levels of government services in net-contributor provinces (Ontario, B.C. and Alberta) such as daycare spaces, student-educator ratios, undergraduate tuition and numbers of nurses and doctors per capita, are significantly lower than those in equalization recipient provinces.
While it is true that Ontario will receive equalization payments equivalent to approximately $76 per person in 2010-11 and $181 per person in 2011-12, this does not come close to the estimated $450 per person in both 2010-11 and 2011-12 that Ontarians will contribute to the federal equalization program.
Ontario will continue to push for a balance between fairness and affordability in the equalization program. It’s time to recognize that a stronger Ontario benefits all Canadians.
Dwight Duncan, Ontario Finance Minister
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