17 April 2007

Facts do matter

Except to this man, apparently.

From federal finance minister Jim Flaherty's latest Equalization news release:
To do so [not to alter two federal-provincial agreements unilaterally] would give Newfoundland and Labrador access to Equalization payments above all the other Equalization provinces even though its fiscal capacity is higher than Ontario's and British Columbia's, which receive no Equalization payments.
If Newfoundland and Labrador's own-source fiscal capacity exceeds the national standard for Equalization, then the province doesn't qualify for either Equalization or for Equalization offsets contained in the 2005 agreement between Prime Minister Paul Martin and Premier Danny Williams:
5. If in any fiscal year in the period 2006-07 to 2011-12 the province does not qualify for receipt of an Equalization payment, no additional offset payment in respect of clause 4 will be made for that fiscal year beyond the payment specified in the existing Atlantic Accord.
The federal Equalization formula currently used and the O'Brien formula contained in Flaherty's 2007 budget set the standard used to determine if a province qualifies for Equalization.

That standard in both cases is below the fiscal capacity of Ontario (the lowest non-recipient province) by several hundred dollars per person.

Yes, facts do matter, Jim.

They just don't matter to the current federal administration.