The premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe has called for changes in the way equalization payments are calculated.
"He's calling it the 50/50 Formula," explained Estevan MLA, Lori Carr. "The distribution of the equalization would ensure that "have" provinces like Saskatchewan get a reasonable share of equalization while the "have-not" provinces continue to get some money from equalization."
"In layman's terms, he's calling it 50/50 because he's not suggesting that we change the entire formula. He's saying 50% will actually continue to be calculated exactly the way it is and distributed in the same manner. BAsed on provinces who are doing really well, being able to help out other provinces."
"But then he suggested that the other 50% of equalization is distributed to each and every province on a per capita basis based on the population of those provinces."
Saskatchewan would still pay into equalization, however, not as much.
"One example we could give is a province like Quebec. They receive a substantial amount of equalization from all of the 'have" provinces, one of those being Saskatchewan. If you look at something like childcare in the province of Saskatchewan. The average rate on a monthly basis for a Saskatchewan family is about $875. The average rate in Quebec is $183. In essence, we're subsidizing for that child to go to childcare for that family."
She added that by not contributing as much in equalization payments, the province would have an easier time getting back to balance, Something that they have committed to doing so within a three years timeframe.
"We can use that money for our own residents as opposed to sending it off to another province and using it for them."
Carr said that Premier Moe is optimistic that this plan could work.
"It's something that is negotiated through the federal government and all of the provinces and it has to be negotiated in 2019. Premier Moe is going to meetings this summer with all of the premieres and it is a topic that he's asked to start talking about this now in anticipation of the agreement coming to an end next year. In which they have to either continue on as is or strike a new deal and this is his plan for a new deal."