Fildebrandt proposes to battle equalization formulaPublished on July 10, 2017
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Philip Schuman, Media Coordinator
CALGARY, AB: Today, Derek Fildebrandt outlined the United Liberty (UL) strategy to stand up for fairness and restore the original purpose of Canada’s Equalization program.
“Alberta’s fiscal contribution to our country should be fair to its taxpayers, it should be recognized by our Prime Minister, and it should be valued by our fellow provinces,” said Fildebrandt. “We cannot force other provincial governments to value our fiscal contributions, but we can take real action to force the federal government to do so.”
“Albertans deserve a government that will fight for a fair and equitable agreement, and that is exactly what we intend to do.”
The United Liberty plan calls for a constitutional reference case to be launched by the Province of Alberta to determine if the current equalization formula meets the intended purpose of the program: To ensure that all provinces can provide reasonably comparable levels of public service at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. Over time, the equalization formula has evolved to include Alberta’s potential royalties from natural resources, but not other provinces’ potential revenue from hydroelectricity.
The plan also calls for a provincial referendum to negotiate a fairer equalization formula if it becomes clear that an equitable agreement cannot be reached with the federal government.
The Supreme Court of Canada and the federal Clarity Act require the federal government to negotiate in good faith in the event that a province has held a successful referendum on a clear question.
“It is time to restore this program to its original purpose, and refocus it on providing temporary economic and fiscal aid to less developed provinces,” said Fildebrandt, “Equalization should be a safety net, it should not discourage some provinces from reaching their full potential.”
ABOUT UNITED LIBERTY: United Liberty is an organization dedicated to the unification of Alberta’s two conservative parties and supporting liberty-conservative policies and candidates. UL was launched by Derek Fildebrandt on June 22nd, 2017 and is putting forward new policies for the consideration of grassroots members of the proposed United Conservative Party at its founding convention. UL supports the grassroots policy process and will work to have policies approved through it.