Canada’s economic success over the past decade has largely been thanks to Alberta’s success.
A new study from the Fraser Institute shows the province contributed $221.4-billion more revenue to the federal government than it received in transfer payments and services between 2007 and 2015.
Report co-author Ben Eisen said it works out to a net outflow of about $20-billion in tax revenue per year.
“That means if Alberta’s contribution were more in line with the average province, the deficit would be about $20-billion bigger, it would be about twice as large as it is,” he said.
“That’s dramatically larger than Ontario’s, despite the fact that Ontario is about three times as populous as Alberta, so it really is difficult to overstate just how big a contribution Alberta makes to the fiscal health of the country.”
That hasn’t changed much since 2015.
Alberta is also a province of just four million people so, that is a huge per person contribution, about $5,000 per Albertan per year.
“Even today, even with oil prices much lower, even with Alberta having recently started to emerge from a very long recession, Alberta is still by far the largest net contributor to federal finances,” Eisen said.
But it remains a cautionary tale for provinces who want to slow or stop energy development.
“The economic growth in Alberta that comes in large measure from the resource sector and development there benefits people all across the country,” explained Eisen.
Eisen added environmental considerations are important but these projects shouldn’t be opposed for opposition sake.