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.