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Ontario a "have-not" province

Hydrogen

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In the history of equalization in this country, Ontario has never been a "have-not" province. It becomes one next year. Also, maybe Mr. Flaherty should now start suggesting that people invest in Ontario.


Ontario to get slice of equalization pie
KAREN HOWLETT AND KEVIN CARMICHAEL
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
November 3, 2008 at 9:42 PM EST

TORONTO — Ontario will officially become a poor cousin of Confederation next year, and it is not at all clear whether Canada's most populous province will ever reclaim its status as the country's economic powerhouse.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Monday that Ontario will join the ranks of the “have-not†provinces next year, paving the way for it to receive payments under the national equalization program for the first time.

Ontario's share of the equalization pie will amount to just $27 for every man, woman and child in the province. But it signifies a dramatic reversal of fortune for Canada's manufacturing heartland, which has in the past helped propel the rest of the country to prosperity. After decades of propping up the rest of the country, Ontario will now be on the receiving end of the subsidy program designed for the country's poorer provinces, collecting $347-million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.

Mr. Flaherty told reporters after a meeting at an airport hotel in Toronto with his provincial counterparts that he does not rejoice in the fact that Ontario has fallen on hard times. The province's struggling economy has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs, with no end in sight to the bleeding.

“Regrettably, I expect that Ontario will be in the equalization program for some time to come…,†Mr. Flaherty said. “It's sort of an odd feeling to see Ontario in such difficult straits.â€

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan did not share his federal counterpart's grim prognosis, even though his own financial forecasts show the province posting a $500-million deficit in fiscal 2009 after four straight years of surpluses.

“We don't agree with him,†Mr. Duncan stated. Ontario's “have-not†status will be a “short-term phenomenon.â€

While it comes as little surprise that Ontario will soon be eligible for equalization, it is happening sooner than anyone predicted. Mr. Flaherty, who has openly criticized the McGuinty government's stewardship of the economy, warned last March that Ontario would be a “have-not†province within two to three years.

The two governments often have been at odds, and those tensions were on display Monday. Mr. Flaherty called the meeting to discuss the global financial crisis and its impact on the Canadian economy.

“This is not a time for bickering,†he said, attempting to strike a conciliatory note. “This is not a time for partisanship.â€

But Mr. Duncan expressed frustration with the fact that he learned how much equalization money Ontario would receive only shortly before the five-hour meeting ended. He also said he was disappointed that Mr. Flaherty was not more receptive to an aid package for the auto sector similar to what the European Union countries and the United States are proposing for their car makers.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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too bad we don't have the oil revenues that the socialist paradise alberta has. ;)

maybe with the lower dollar and energy costs things will pick up again. of course it doesn't help to have a federal government that treats us the way it does.
 

Tewder

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... all federal governments treat Toronto/Ontario in the same way which is to say neglect. There is this fantasty that we fare better under the liberals which just isn't true, and it's this persistent misguided belief that hurts us. Lets get over it people and make the national parties vie for our votes with money the way they do elsewhere.
 

Whoaccio

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I'm pretty sure Ontario was a have not province before in the 1970s for like a month, but Trudeau quickly changed the qualifications and weightings to disqualify us from receiving equalization.
 

kEiThZ

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Maybe, just maybe this might actually force Ontarians to start demanding better for Ontario.....

....yeah I was kidding.....Ontarians demonstrating any pride in Ontario? We can't have that.
 

torontofcfan

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A situation like this does not just creep up...someone (Dalton McGuinty) should have been responsible for monitoring this.

Either an attempt to offset the loss in manufacturing, or at least trying to publicly justify the reason we are a "have not" province would have been a lot better than making the province look pathetic.

I don't know if I'm more disappointed at becoming a "have not" province, or the lack of response to having become one.
 
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afransen

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We're getting our own money back--don't feel too embarrassed anyone.
 

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