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A Friend in Need: Recognizing Alberta’s Outsized Contribution to Confederation

What would Canada’s economy and finances look like without Alberta?


By —— Bio and Archives July 13, 2017

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CALGARY—Between 2007 and 2015, Albertans contributed $221.4 billion more revenue to federal coffers than they received in federal transfer payments and services—a much larger net contribution than any other province, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

It’s very clear that over a decade, Alberta disproportionately contributed to the economic success of the country and to federal finances,” said Ben Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute’s Alberta Prosperity Initiative and co-author of A Friend in Need: Recognizing Alberta’s Outsized Contribution to Confederation.

Each year, Albertans send far more tax dollars and other types of revenue to Ottawa than they receive in transfer payments and federal services.

According to the study, without Alberta’s large contribution (net) to the federal government’s bottom line, Ottawa would have incurred big deficits every year since 2009. In 2015 alone, the federal deficit would have been approximately $23 billion larger (roughly doubling its size) without Alberta’s large contribution (net).

Alberta also provided economic opportunities for Canadians from other parts of the country. Between 2004 and 2014, for example, 271,926 more people moved to Alberta from other parts of Canada than moved from Alberta to other provinces and territories.

“Over the past decade, Alberta has been a place where Canadians from all parts of the country could go to build a more prosperous life,” said Steve Lafleur, study co-author and Fraser Institute senior policy analyst.

Many of these interprovincial migrants were drawn by Alberta’s status as Canada’s leading job-creator. Between 2004 and 2014, Alberta generated more private-sector job growth than any other province including vastly more populous Ontario. In fact, Alberta’s economy created 32.5 per cent of all private-sector jobs in Canada despite having only 11.7 per cent of the country’s population.

Finally, the study notes that after a long period of relative strength, Alberta has suffered economically since late 2014. But a strong Albertan economy remains necessary for a strong Canadian economy.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bryn Weese, Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute, 604-688-0221 ext. 589, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Fraser Institute -- Bio and Archives | Comments

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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