The180·The 180

Equalization doesn't work the way you think it does

The leader of the Wildrose party in Alberta wants to fix what he calls Canada's broken equalization system. He wonders "why we are still sending so many hard-earned tax dollars to other provinces." But that's not actually how equalization works. The 180 takes a look at the common misconception.
Six of the ten provinces collected equalization from the federal government this past year.

Everything you think you know about equalization is wrong. 

That is, if you think the people of a richer province send money to the people of another poorer province.

You'd be forgiven for understanding it that way, as it's the way many provincial politicians speak.

For example, the leader of Alberta's Opposition party, Brian Jean, recently wrote that Albertans "are right to wonder why we are still sending so many hard-earned tax dollars to other provinces."

But they're not sending their money to other provinces. The federal government is


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