Equalization Payments – Quebec


If Quebec’s economy is booming, what’s with the equalization payouts?

Recently, it was announced that Quebec would receive $13.1 billion in equalization payouts from the federal government. But if you look at recent statistics regarding the well being of Quebec, you have to wonder why?

The unemployment rate in Quebec is at a 40 year low, sitting at 4.6 per cent. Between March of 2017 and March of 2018, approximately 149,000 full time jobs were added in Health, retail, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate markets.

With all of the resources Quebec has, why is it still considered a “have not” province? Just in sheer land mass alone, Quebec’s northern territory is larger than the state of Texas and with forestry, mining, hydro-electric, aluminum, and abundant agriculture Quebec should be one of the richest provinces in Canada. The shale natural gas and oil in the province alone could make Quebec extremely wealthy.

The Quebec government is banning fracking for shale gas and drilling for oil and gas on 13 waterways provincewide, in an effort to protect drinking water sources. Over the last 60 years, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta have safely developed 175,000 wells safely. Couldn’t Quebec do the same?

Tim McMillan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers wrote that Regulations proposed by the Quebec government earlier in June of this year, to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and severely limit development of natural gas are evidence of a troubling form of economic and environmental self-sabotage increasingly evident in Canadian energy policy.

Quebec could supply it’s own natural gas for the next century but it would seem their priority is to import foreign oil and gas and forfeit jobs that could be created by further developing their own natural resources in environmentally safe way.

The economic impact of this decision is loss of well paying jobs, tax revenue, royalties etc. Not only is Quebec holding themselves back but they are putting a stick through the spokes of Alberta’s economy as well by also saying no to a pipeline.

Premier Francois Legault said “there is no social acceptability (for oil) in Quebec.”

They continue to accept oil shipped from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, countries who have less stringent policies when it comes to the environment.

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