MODEST BUT MEANINGFUL CHANGE: REFORMING EQUALIZATION

One of Canada’s key federal transfer programs, equalization, has been called the ‘glue’ that binds the Canadian federation. Mandated by the Constitution Act (1982), the program’s aim is to “…ensure that provincial governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation” (36.2). Indeed, Canada’s equalization program is much studied as a key piece of the machinery of one of the world’s most decentralized, and successful, federations.

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