24 September 2009

Have not?

Forget all the talk about Newfoundland and Labrador being a have not province.  Figures from the federal finance department tell a different tale.

2004

2005

2006

2007

NL

7792

8572

8994

9936

PE

7489

7671

7874

8594

NS

5966

6422

7014

7701

NB

6895

7349

7849

8476

QC

6324

6493

6787

7108

ON

5652

5979

6261

6848

MB

7510

8080

8154

9235

SK

6465

7179

7768

8058

AB

7363

8050

8562

9461

BC

6828

7316

7578

8054

Leaving out debt servicing , Newfoundland and Labrador topped every province in the country  in spending per person in 12 of the  21 years from 1986 to 2007.  The province has been in the top three in per person spending in all but three years in that period.

percapitasEven more surprisingly, Newfoundland and Labrador has been in the top spot in all but two years since 1994. 

And the gap isn’t a small one. 

In 2007, Newfoundland and Labrador outspent Alberta by $500 per person. 

In 2003, the last year of the Grimes administration, Newfoundland and Labrador spent about $1300 per person more than oil-soaked Alberta.

-srbp-

26 comments:

Mark said...

It must be those damned X-ray machines out around the bay, They're costing a fortune and have been for years.*



*sarcasm

davelane said...

Pretty interesting stuff, indeed.

One thing to keep in mind, of course, is that part of the reason we spend so much per person on services is: we're spread all over the place; it's rugged terrain, so it costs more to provide services; and, we're attempting to provide service of *national standards.*

It's easier and cheaper to provide high-level services to dense populations (most other provinces have lots of people in cities, which pulls their numbers down).

My two cents,
Dave

Edward G. Hollett said...

Dave, that's an old chestnut that keeps getting tossed out but it doesn't hold up, I'm afraid.

Two things work against that lovely theory.

First, there is a KPMG study that shows it is actually cheaper to do things here than in major centres.

Second, that conclusion fits with the other theme we like around these parts, namely that the way of life etc is lovely and cheap here so that's why business should come here.

We spend more because we spend more. There are a bunch of reasons for that - a post is coming - but it isn't because we are flung out all over hell's half acre.

Anonymous said...

An aside but sort of related......It is boggling how the Feds like to refer to Newfoundland when talking about unemployment and other government malodies. Newfoundland has a population of 504,000 and I once read...can't be sure now where that was....that 2 million Newfoundlanders work elsewhere in Canada and around the world paying taxes. Now...wouldn't you say that Newfoundlanders contribute more than is said that we do? It's about time that was brought to Fed's attention and any other people who like to say Newfoundland is a drain on the rest of Canada....Fort McMurray comes to mine.

Edward G. Hollett said...

The feds, 1904?

The only people I know who consistently like to misrepresent Newfoundland and Labrador are people from this province.

When they aren't doing that, they are attributing all sorts of things to some concoction called "the feds".

The whole notion of how much this province and its people contribute to Confederation is part of the completely useless way those sorts of people manipulate the local political agenda.

You might think about why you are playing a part in their agenda since it quite obviously isn't about creating a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador.

After all, why would people who want to build people up spend so much time tearing them down or misleading them?

davelane said...

Looking forward to the next post, Ed.

As a preview, do you think it has to do with inefficiencies in bureaucracy, a culture of entitlement, or other?

I do agree, we really do lean on the "the feds hate us" argument quite too much. Thing is, though, we have a terrible federal government right now so the argument is kinda truthful.. in that they don't "care" for us.

Also, I don't think it would be responsible to deny things have improved considerably in the past 6 - 7 years with respect to government services. And they're always getting better.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Dave, I am going to try and pull, together a bunch of things and add some new stuff.

It's as much a thought piece as anything else as part of the process of working things through.

The blaming foreigners schtick is the invention of a particular group who wish to deflect attention away from a number of things, including their own failures or whatever they are really up to.

It pre-dates Confederation. All that happened in 1949 was that they changed the name of the scapegoat du jour.

If you think about it, though, a truly self-reliant, assertive and confident group of people wouldn't look for people to care for them. They wouldn't look for hand-outs. They wouldn't spend so much time whining and blaming others for their problems. They wouldn't worry so much about what others think and say of them.

They'd get on with it, suck it up and make stuff happen.

But that getting on with it is exactly the opposite of what we've had here since 2003.

What I've got coming is a post that pulls some ideas together, but also carries on the ideas I've had for a while but not tossed out there yet in the series on 15 ideas for a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anonymous said...

I guess you will call that post the 'Ollett Hessentials?

Jake

Edward G. Hollett said...

Wow, 2043, there's a comment that makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

ClaudeB said...

Ed,

1) I would be interested to see if the data correlates with the rise of oil prices during that period. Graph the data and you'll see the increases in NL's govt spending (minus debt service) is identical to the increases registered in Alberta during the same time frame.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Not that I can tsee Claude.

The period I used was 1986 to 2007. Nl only had oil revenues for half that period.

The time in first place included the entire period from 1994 onward save to two spots, I think it was, and the period back to 1986 had NL in the top three every year but three.

That was the stunning thing to me: the first place per capita ranking quite obviously had nothing to do with oil and what's more the most recent period started in the depths of the darkest recent financial time.

I just showed the most recent four years.

WJM said...

I once read...can't be sure now where that was....that 2 million Newfoundlanders work elsewhere in Canada and around the world paying taxes.

That's a pretty neat trick, considering that less than a million Newfoundlanders have been born in the past century or so, of whom several hundred thousand still live in Newfoundland, and several hundred thousand more aren't living in Newfoundland (or anywhwere else) any more.

WJM said...

I do agree, we really do lean on the "the feds hate us" argument quite too much.

The "feds hate us" line can be traced almost to a moment of birth - certainly to a year.

1972.

That's when the Trudeau government started treating the province like all the others. Up until then, from 1949 and through the rest of the Smallwood era, federal spending was ramped up in Newfoundland and Labrador to a degree that other provinces simply didn't enjoy. (Federal spending on highways, where the province spent 10 cent dollars during most of the Smallwood years, is perhaps the most visible example.)

Once Ottawa started insisted on crazy things like Treasury Board guidelines and such, the gravy train stopped. At least in its Smallwood-era form.

And then the "feds hate us!" started. Right on cue.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't talking about the Feds hate us....I was taking about how Newfoundlanders pick up and go other places to work and pay taxes....two million of us, but your mind-set had to prevail with something other than what was meant.

Anonymous said...

WJM...list your facts as to the population born in Newfoundland so we may all be corrected and enlightened and can also research same. Here's a question for you.....What about all those people who married Newfoundlanders serving during WWII in the British Forces and any children born thereof who automactically became Newfoundlanders when born in Britain. I happen to be one of them and although I do not live in Newfoundland and haven't for a very long time, I defend Newfoundland when stupid mainland comments are made by so called educated people about how lazy with their hands out Newfoundlanders are. I don't take to kindly to being called lazy nor should you hence the many Newfoundlanders who work off the Island contributing to the public purse.

WJM said...

WJM...list your facts as to the population born in Newfoundland so we may all be corrected and enlightened and can also research same.

"Same". Sheesh. Learn to write.

Between 1949 Quarter One, and 2009 Quarter One, there were 600,052 live births in Newfoundland and Labrador. The quarterly figures for the past year or two are subject to revision, usually on the order of a few 10s of births.

Source: Statscan Table 053-0001.

There were another 120,959 births accounted for in the pre-Confederation figures from 1936 to 1948 available in this publication.

That's 721,000.

At the bottom end of the chronology, there were 7300 births in 1936. Even if there had been 7300 births in every year going back to 1901 (and there weren't, because the population was lower then) you would still have only about 975,000 births in the province in the 20th century and early 21st.

I hope you are not going to ask me to prove that hundreds of thousands of those people are still living in the province, or are dead.

Here's a question for you.....What about all those people who married Newfoundlanders serving during WWII in the British Forces and any children born thereof who automactically became Newfoundlanders when born in Britain.

How many are those? And how did they "automatically become Newfoundlanders"?

I happen to be one of them and although I do not live in Newfoundland and haven't for a very long time, I defend Newfoundland when stupid mainland comments are made by so called educated people about how lazy with their hands out Newfoundlanders are.

Good for you.

I don't take to kindly to being called lazy

Awesome.

nor should

I don't.

you hence the many Newfoundlanders

I'm not a Newfoundlander.

who work off the Island contributing to the public purse.

What island?

Nice rhetoric there, but it doesn't change a single statistical fact: there cannot possibly be millions, or even many more than a single-digit number of hundreds of thousands, of expatriate Newfoundlanders still alive.

Edward G. Hollett said...

You slide by the point, 1523 since you used the same idea when you wrote about how "the feds like to..." when "the feds' don't do any such thing.

Anonymous said...

"How many are those? And how did they "automatically become Newfoundlanders"?


It seems you do not know Newfoundland history as well as you think. Oh yes I guess I ought to include Labrador to be precise. Newfoundland and Labrador.

The British Government deemed it so when ewfoundlanders married Brits.

WJM...list your facts as to the population born in Newfoundland so we may all be corrected and enlightened and can also research same.

It is perfectly correct to use.

"""on't take to kindly to being called lazy

Awesome.

nor should

I don't.

you hence the many Newfoundlanders

I'm not a Newfoundlander.

who work off the Island contributing to the public purse.

What island?""" Are you arsing around? A. Engel

Anonymous said...

WJM since you say you are not from Newfoundland you wouldn't know that the population of Newfoundland in 1949 was 1,190,000.
So you are off base when you speak of the population of Newfoundland being only in the thousands. A. Engel

Edward G. Hollett said...

The population of Newfoundland has never been anything even remotely close to 1.1 million, Engel.

Where did you get that figure?

Anonymous said...

I Goggled it and it did come up at 1,190,000. Now, there have been some problems with the computers in the Library where I have been using them. I am always ready to admit I am not correct. I Goggled again...I was not correct.....are you able to say so when you are not correct? But Mr. Ed, graciousness goes a long way and I would like to continue commenting especially when I agree with you but being confrontational instead of asking where the information came from might be more engaging. A. Engel

WJM said...

The British Government deemed it so when ewfoundlanders married Brits.

At that time, there wasn't a separate Newfoundland citizenship.

It is perfectly correct to use.

Grammatically, maybe. But it's a tacky archaism, and has been both (tacky and archaic) for a century or more, outside commercial telegraphs.

What island?""" Are you arsing around? A. Engel

Nope.

WJM said...

WJM since you say you are not from Newfoundland you wouldn't know that the population of Newfoundland in 1949 was 1,190,000.

I'm not from the United States, either, but I know the population is about 300 million. In related news, I've never been to Kilimanjaro, but I know it is the tallest mountain in Africa, and I've never been to the moon, but I know it orbits the earth in a 1:1 coupling.

So you are off base when you speak of the population of Newfoundland being only in the thousands. A. Engel

In the 1945 census, the population was 321,819. In 1951, it was 361,416.

Here's your source.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Graciousness goes a long way as does courtesy Engel, Morris or whatever name you are posing under today.

Since you enjoy showing none - neither courtesy nor gaciousness - then perhaps you can just take what you get. In any event whatever treatment you get is considerably better than you give anyone else.

Anonymous said...

"The British Government deemed it so when ewfoundlanders married Brits."

"At that time, there wasn't a separate Newfoundland citizenship."

Even though Britain had given Newfoundland Commission of Government, Britain still considered Newfoundland to be its Colony. There was one occasion when I was asked for my immigration papers by an immigration offical at the Calgary Airport upon my return from Britain in 1977. She knew nothing about Newfoundland and its entry into Canada. We automatically became Canadian in 1949... A. Engel

Anonymous said...

Once I shot an elephant in my pyjamas.

His name wasn't Stanfield. G. Marx.