36 min

The History of Equalization in Canada Witness to Yesterday (The Champlain Society Podcast on Canadian History)

    • Society & Culture

In her book The Art of Sharing: The Richer versus the Poorer Provinces since Confederation, Mary Janigan explores the history of equalization – one of Canada’s most important yet least understood social programs. Based on a simple idea of the federal government redistributing a portion of the tax revenues it receives to lower-income provinces so that they can provide roughly comparable public services at roughly comparable provincial rates of taxation to other provinces, this program has been criticized by wealthier provinces from the beginning. In her interview with Greg Marchildon, Dr. Janigan describes the origins of the idea in the Commonwealth Grants Commission in Australia and how Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent’s government set up the first formal program and how this programs has been refined since. Dr. Janigan describes the importance of equalization in keeping Canada more unified over time.

In her book The Art of Sharing: The Richer versus the Poorer Provinces since Confederation, Mary Janigan explores the history of equalization – one of Canada’s most important yet least understood social programs. Based on a simple idea of the federal government redistributing a portion of the tax revenues it receives to lower-income provinces so that they can provide roughly comparable public services at roughly comparable provincial rates of taxation to other provinces, this program has been criticized by wealthier provinces from the beginning. In her interview with Greg Marchildon, Dr. Janigan describes the origins of the idea in the Commonwealth Grants Commission in Australia and how Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent’s government set up the first formal program and how this programs has been refined since. Dr. Janigan describes the importance of equalization in keeping Canada more unified over time.

36 min

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