Calgary

Jason Kenney says he's glad Quebec's new gov't is aiming for no equalization payments

Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party, applauded the Coalition Avenir Québec on its election win Monday night on Twitter, calling it "encouraging to have a new Quebec government whose explicit goal is to aim for zero equalization' payments."

The leader of Alberta's Opposition congratulated the Coalition Avenir Québec for winning election

Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney, right, has congratulated CAQ Leader François Legault on his win in Quebec. (Canadian Press)

Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party, applauded the Coalition Avenir Québec on its election win Monday night on Twitter, calling it "encouraging to have a new Quebec government whose explicit goal is 'to aim for zero equalization' payments."

The right-of-centre CAQ party was projected to have won a majority government — its first time in power — shortly after polls closed across the province, dealing a blow to the incumbent Liberals.

CAQ Leader François Legault has stated his goal is to halt the province's dependence on $11 billion a year in federal equalization payments, and even reverse the dynamic so Quebec would pay out to the rest of the country.

The party's financial framework didn't explicitly detail how it would fund that campaign promise.

The equalization program — which has been extended until 2024 — is a contentious one in Alberta. It distributes federal cash, which is paid for by income taxes from across the country, to ensure all Canadians have equal access to public services.

In recent years, Alberta has received no equalization payments, even during its recession, while Quebec often receives the highest amount.

As Saskatchewan's premier calls Canada's equalization formula 'flawed', P&P looks at the federal program. 0:47

Kenney has been a loud voice against the current payment formula, despite being a member of parliament with the former federal Conservative government when the formula was put in place.

Earlier this year, he called for a referendum on equalization and said it was important that the government understand that circumstances have changed with Alberta's recent economic downturn.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also congratulated Francois Legault on his win, and thanked current Premier Philippe Couillard for his service.


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