Ottawa, October 9, 2003 - Provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance unveiled today their common perspective to strengthen the Equalization Program. The document was sent to the federal Minister of Finance, John Manley, and will be part of the discussions to be held tomorrow at a federal-provincial-territorial conference of Ministers of Finance on the renewal of Equalization.
The Equalization Program is an essential component of fiscal arrangements and its renewal must be completed by April 1st, 2004. The provinces and territories are unanimous in their view that the Equalization Program needs to be strengthened to fulfill its constitutional mandate and action is required to reverse the trend of growing inadequacy of the program.
Provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance have jointly identified proposals to strengthen the Equalization Program. Possible approaches include a ten-province standard that recognizes the volatility around resource revenues and the full inclusion of all provincial revenues in the calculation of equalization entitlements, in particular revenue from user fees. As well, provinces are concerned with the destabilizing effect on provincial finances of substantial and unpredictable fluctuations in equalization revenues.
A copy of the document is available on the website of the provincial and territorial departments of Finance.
- 30 -
Source: Serge Privé
Director of communications
Office of the Minister of Finance of Québec
Tel.: (418) 643-5270 or (514) 873-5363