Beyond Equalization: Examining Fiscal Transfers in a Broader Context

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Canada is faced with a tremendous opportunity to improve and strengthen the federation in a fundamental way. The country is enjoying a strong period of economic performance - it is now in its fourteenth year of economic expansion - but faces a number of challenges: a deteriorating health system lagging productivity, over taxation, continuing conflict between federal and provincial governments, and a marked divide between laggard provinces and those that are prosperous.

This book provides a road map for a better Canada based on decentralization, greater accountability, and a more efficient and sustainable fiscal framework. Unlike many other volumes that have analyzed equalization alone, this book takes a broader view of fiscal transfers. Indeed, the fist chapter of the book outlines the various transfer programs currently in place and the varying levels of provincial dependence on federal transfers. In addition, the chapter examines the claims of fiscal imbalance empirically. More importantly, it offers a solution that would see greater accountability introduced into government through decentralization, clarified areas of responsibility, and a dramatically improved tax system.

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