Alberta advances towards equality referendum in fall city council elections

If the state government’s motion to discuss and approve the referendum issue is passed, the Alberts will vote in the referendum on equality this fall. However, some experts say this is more likely to affect state politics than the Canadian Constitution.

The question posed on the ballot for the city council elections on October 18 was, “Should Article 36 (2) of the 1982 Constitution-a commitment of Congress and the Government of Canada to the principle of equal payment-should be removed from the Constitution?”

Theoretically, an overwhelming “yes” vote would trigger constitutional debate. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada said that if a “clear majority on a clear issue” voted to amend the Constitution in a state referendum, the federal government and all other states would “negotiate constitutionally.” Declared to have a “duty”. Resolve issues “in good faith” with the states involved. The ruling was made in the context of a referendum in 1995 calling for Quebec to leave Canada.

However, Jared Wesley, a professor of political science at the University of Alberta (UA), said in an interview that he expects turnout to remain low in this year’s local elections and is unlikely to be empowered. It states.

“They chose the city council elections to hold a referendum to maintain a very low turnout historically in Alberta, as if they had won more than 40% of the turnout. It’s a brilliant year, “says Wesley.

He says, “One in four Alberts wants to get rid of it. [equalization]Then there is little overwhelming obligation to fly to Ottawa and negotiate a fair deal for Alberta. “

Ah Opinion poll conducted in March According to the UA-based research institute Common Ground, 61% of Alberta believe that Canada’s equalization system is unfair to Alberta. When asked if equality should be removed from the Constitution, 43% agreed, 20% disagreed, and 37% were neutral.

Jeffrey Hale, a professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge, told the Epoch Times that the pandemic still dominates politics. “Whether they are treated on the basis of merit or as a reaction to the performance of the Kenny administration,” Hale said.

“The Kenny administration is politically vulnerable and traditional PCs [Progressive Conservative] And Wild Rose’s support is more or less marginalized, “he added.

“Alberta has no unilateral authority to do anything about equality, and the historical beneficiaries of the system are close to many states under the constitution, so we predict how much momentum the referendum will gain in the current situation. Difficult to do “

Ah 2020 paper by Thomas Courchene and Teresa CourcheneCreated for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Alberta’s per capita self-income from 2018 to 2019 was $ 9,597 and did not receive any equalization payments. In contrast, Quebec received $ 10,694 per capita, but equalization received an additional $ 1,392 per capita in Quebec, for a total of $ 11.7 billion. From 2019 to 2020, Quebec’s leveling increased to $ 13.1 billion, and Alberta, which faced financial difficulties again, received nothing.

This is because the leveling formula is based on a three-year moving average of state revenue per capita calculated two years behind. Therefore, according to the formula, Alberta’s income over the last two years was much higher than it actually was, as it did not reflect the fall in energy prices.

The treatise also examined the compensation received by Alberta under the federal government’s fiscal stabilization program. Alberta lacked a cumulative self-income of approximately $ 25 billion over the five years from 2014 to 2015 and was eligible for assistance under the program, but received from that source of income. The total income was only $ 503 million.

Founded in 1967, the program has allowed Ottawa to provide financial support to states whose incomes have declined significantly, but “is terribly underfunded,” the newspaper said.

Barry Cooper, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said the referendum is more likely to boost Kenny’s support than to rectify equality.

“It’s a great exercise of political art. Whether it makes any difference in our perceptions of our former fellow citizens of Lauren Cyan Canada is a completely different matter.”

Wesley also sees Kenny’s political move as difficult to boost other prime ministers. He predicts that at the next first ministerial meeting, the prime minister will “probably give a little space to the agenda.” To do. [let him] Say his work and move on. “

Cooper believes that equality is unlikely to be withdrawn, and Albert believes that equality will continue to be considered unfair and indignant.

“Quebec can’t say goodbye to $ 13 billion a year,” he said. “It’s completely corrupt. It corrupts the Quebec government because the Quebec government doesn’t actually have to pay their bills.”

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