How to give away $68 billion: Ottawa cuts cheques to the provinces

Today, the federal government announced how much each province and territory will get in transfer payments next year. All told, Ottawa will transfer $68 billion to provincial capitals in the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2016. As federal finance minister Joe Oliver said, for every dollar that Ottawa takes in, it sends 20 cents back out to the provinces and territories.

Drawing data from this table at the Department of Finance, we can break a few things down:

All transfers – per capita:

  1. PE $3,758
  2. NB $3,517
  3. NS $3,221
  4. MB $2,651
  5. QC $2,461
  6. ON $1,482
  7. NL $1,310
  8. SK $1,310
  9. AB $1,310
  10. BC $1,310

*The three territories — Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon — have been ommitted from this ranking as their federal transfers are calculated and dispersed in a manner significantly differently from the 10 provinces.

Who’s a have-not?

These are the only provinces getting equalization payments:

  1. Quebec: $9.52 billion
  2. Ontario: $2.36 billion
  3. Manitoba: $1.74 billion
  4. Nova Scotia: $1.69 billion
  5. New Brunswick: $1.67 billion
  6. PEI: $361 million

All transfers

Combined health transfer, social transfer, equalization payment and other transfers

  1. ON $20.440 billion
  2. QC $20.363 billion
  3. BC $6.129 billion
  4. AB $5.477 billion
  5. MB $3.436 billion
  6. NS $3.045 billion
  7. NB $2.660 billion
  8. NU $1.502 billion
  9. SK $1.493 billion
  10. NT $1.291 billion
  11. YT $922 million
  12. NL $692 million
  13. PE $554 million

3 thoughts on “How to give away $68 billion: Ottawa cuts cheques to the provinces”

  1. Corrections needed in the “All Transfers” list above.

    – The Canadian total (“C”) is incorrect (that’s actually QC’s total).
    – Ontario’s total transfers are missing from the list ($20.440 billion).
    – The totals for the three territories are $1M off each.

    See the complete tables here:

  2. Thanks, John — Some HTML hiccups cut off Ontario’s number and the Q ahead of the C at the top of the list. But go take a look at those tables (which I also linked to in the post) and do the math for the three territories. Don’t think I’m off by a million. Think Finance is off by a million though they do say “Totals may not add due to rounding and are subject to regular revision.”

    1. Cool, looks good now.

      Ah, yes. I see what you did with the territories (adding up the three major transfer lines individually vs. taking the figure from the Total – federal support line).

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