#NewBrunswick; #PoorestProvince; #FederalEqualizationSupportProgram
New Brunswick, Dec 18 (Canadian-Media): New Brunswick was officially considered as Canada's poorest province and will begin receiving $2.21 billion in equalization funding from Ottawa starting in April, the largest increase among receiving provinces, media reports said.
Ernie Steeves. Image credit: Twitter handle
Equalization is a $20.6-billion federal program designed to help poorer provinces and is calculated using three years of data and by the revenue-generating ability of each province against a national standard.
GDP growth recorded by New Brunswick over those three years was approximately 3.7 percent, the weakest among equalization-receiving provinces, less than the national average.
The reason for the $187-million jump in New Brunswick's equalization allotment, the largest increase among receiving provinces will take some time to analyze said Trevor Tombe, an economics professor at the University of Calgary and one of Canada's leading experts on equalization.
Provinces receiving Equalization amounts per person are: New Brunswick: $2,826, Prince Edward Island: $2,825; Nova Scotia. $2,184; Manitoba: $1,815; Quebec: $1,547
"We want to be the ones that help everybody else, but right now we do need the help," said New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves.
"We're trying to get our debt back in place where it should be and get it lowered so that we won't need as much help. But right now we are reliant on Canada and Canadians."