Federal transfer payments should make us “equal as citizens”

A new book by Nova Scotia author Richard Starr points to the gap between what federal transfer payments are meant to do and the current reality.

Federal transfer payments were meant to ensure Canadians in all parts of the country had equal access to public services – something Canadians overwhelmingly support. But the portrayal of those payments as a means for poorer provinces to “leech” off better off ones has made it possible to undermine federal equalization programs.

A Tyee article on the book points out that federal equalization payments are not seen as an exciting topic. But, with the role federal funding plays in public services like health care, lack of attention has dangerous consequences.

WOMEN ACTIVISTS

WOMEN ACTIVISTS skip Fri, 03/16/2018 - 01:57


CINDY BLACKSTOCK

CINDY BLACKSTOCK has been described as the ‘relentless moral voice’ for First Nations equality, a ‘rock star social worker’, and even ‘Canada’s Martin Luther King’.

SOME CALL CINDY BLACKSTOCK THE "RELENTLESS AND MORAL VOICE" FOR FIRST NATION'S EQUALITY, a “rock star social worker”, and even “Canada’s Martin Luther King”. She may be all that. But what Cindy Blackstock is most is a tenacious and victorious leader in the fight for, and defender of, the rights of our 163,000 indigenous children.

Cindy leads that fight as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is determined to have our indigenous children come to know how very much they matter in a world that tells them they don’t. Her basic premise is simple: First Nation’s children deserve to be treated the same as all other Canadian children.

Canadians for Tax Fairness Study Suggests Changes Needed at Canada Revenue Agency

A study from Canadians for Tax Fairness suggests that the effectiveness of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is being undermined by a lack of resources and by political interference.

According to the study, politicians and lobbyists are able to influence the CRA. That includes lobbying CRA not to prosecute corporations for tax evasion. At the same time, $700 million in funding cuts between 2011 and 2015 reduced the ability of the CRA to deal with large-scale tax avoidance schemes. 

Offshore tax schemes estimated to cost federal and provincial governments $10 billion a year

Among the consequences of staff and funding cuts outlined in the report is that the CRA is not able to deal with the abuse of tax havens by large businesses or wealthy individuals. Most reports suggest that there is $199 billion of Canadian money in tax havens. Canadians for Tax Fairness has estimated that failing to deal with tax avoidance involving tax havens means Canadian governments are losing $10 billion a year in tax revenue.