Provinces demand changes to fiscal stabilization program — here’s what that means

After pushing the federal government to amend the formula for equalization payments — which give money to some provinces but not others — premiers upset with the formula shifted focus to changing the fiscal stabilization program on Monday.

Premiers of provinces that don’t get equalization funds argued it was one way they could get some money back amid the oil and energy sector’s economic instability.

While meeting in Mississauga, Ont. Monday, premiers tried to find consensus on key issues ahead of their meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the new year. Among the four areas of consensus was a call on the federal government to reassess fiscal stabilization, which provides financial assistance to provinces amid economic downturns.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who had signalled earlier that he would push for the program to be expanded, told reporters Monday that consensus was reached at the urging of his province, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I want to thank each and every one of my fellow premiers for recognizing and addressing the economic disparity that has arisen in distinct regions of our nation,” he said.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney added the consensus reached on the issue was a “tremendous moment of solidarity.”

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