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Corbella: Canada must recognize how vital Alberta is to feds' bottom line

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17.05.2019

If not for Alberta, Canada would be drowning in a fiscal soup of its own making, barely keeping its nose above the noodles and slowly getting cooked.

Most Albertans already know this and are eager — even desperate — for the rest of the country to understand just how important this energy-rich province is to the health and wealth of Canada.

A just-released Fraser Institute report, called How Albertans Continue to Keep Federal Finances Afloat, does an admirable job of showing how even while suffering through a recent recession, “Alberta continues to punch well above its weight,” remaining “by far, the largest net contributor” to the federal government.

“In other words, the recession has not changed the fact that Alberta is still a large — in fact, the largest — net contributor to the federal government’s finances,” states the report, released Thursday.

“Even in recession, Albertans stabilized federal finances and kept Ottawa’s deficits from soaring to much higher levels, which would have negatively impacted all Canadians and future generations,” said Ben Eisen, one of the report’s authors and a senior fellow with the not-for-profit institute.

The report points out that Alberta’s net contribution to Confederation peaked in 2014 with a whopping $27.6 billion. That amount was cut by $7 billion in 2017 to $20.5 billion, nevertheless, that is still more than any other province, and there are only three other provinces — Saskatchewan, B.C. and Newfoundland — that are leaving some money on the........

© Winnipeg Sun