Mandate

Fairness Alberta’s mandate is to inform Canadians about the magnitude of the contributions Albertans make to Canada, while educating Canadians about the damaging fiscal, trade, energy, procurement, and infrastructure policies that chronically undermine Alberta’s – and Canada’s – potential.

 

Alberta Transfer meter

Albertans’ Net Contributions (2000-2019)

$ 0

In this difficult time, Albertans need Canada’s cooperation and support more than ever. If Canadians better understood not only the extent to which Alberta prosperity has benefitted their communities, but also the numerous barriers, imbalances, and inequities that are preventing us from returning to prosperity, we are confident that the political will can be generated to significantly improve the Canadian federation and achieve fairness for Albertans.

Mandate

Fairness Alberta’s mandate is to inform Canadians about the magnitude of the contributions Albertans make to Canada, while educating Canadians about the damaging fiscal, trade, energy, procurement, and infrastructure policies that chronically undermine Alberta’s – and Canada’s – potential.

In this difficult time, Albertans need Canada’s cooperation and support more than ever. If Canadians better understood not only the extent to which Alberta prosperity has benefitted their communities, but also the numerous barriers, imbalances, and inequities that are preventing us from returning to prosperity, we are confident that the political will can be generated to significantly improve the Canadian federation and achieve fairness for Albertans.

The Methodology

The ATM is not a real time calculation as this is not possible due to the lag time to calculate various fiscal payments.  It is taken from Statistics Canada data without adjustment.  It is likely a conservative estimate because it uses 2018 data which is the last full year of available StatsCan data and 2018 was a year when the outflow was lower than a longer-term average. Note the 2018 per second figure is $544.62/second.

The calculated amount is the total since January 1, 2000.  The total for the period from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2018 was $307.658 Billion.


The Alberta Transfer Meter (ATM) shows the staggering total of transfers that have gone from Albertans’ federal taxes and EI premiums to other provinces from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2019. 

In other words, over 20 years Albertans sent a net $79,870 per person to Ottawa that was spent in other provinces, or $319,480 for a family of four. 

In 2018 alone, during the midst of an economic downturn made much worse by policies, signals, and other decisions made by the Federal and other provincial governments, that family of four contributed a net $16,917 to Ottawa that did not come back to Alberta. 

It is clear that Albertans make a disproportionate contribution to the federal government and the transfers that it sends to other provincial governments to provide health care, social services, infrastructure, and other spending.  To give some perspective on the other side of the equation, the net transfers from Albertans over the last two decades meant a benefit of $41,801 per family outside Alberta. That’s an incredible sum that they received in federal and provincial spending that they did not have to pay for through taxes or debt.

It is also clear that the Federal government, as well as some provincial counterparts, are pursuing policies and making decisions that are not only costing Albertans jobs and livelihoods in Alberta today, but also damaging investor confidence in Alberta so thoroughly that it jeopardizes our children and grandchildren’s prospects at financial security.

Fairness Alberta will improve Canadians’ understanding of how Alberta’s success improves their communities, and how our federal government puts numerous barriers in the way of Alberta’s future prosperity. 

About the ATM

The Alberta Transfer Meter (ATM) shows the staggering total of transfers that have gone from Albertans’ federal taxes and EI premiums to other provinces from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2019.

In other words, over 20 years Albertans sent a net $79,870 per person to Ottawa that was spent in other provinces, or $319,480 for a family of four.

In 2018 alone, during the midst of an economic downturn made much worse by policies, signals, and other decisions made by the Federal and other provincial governments, that family of four contributed a net $16,917 to Ottawa that did not come back to Alberta.

It is clear that Albertans make a disproportionate contribution to the federal government and the transfers that it sends to other provincial governments to provide health care, social services, infrastructure, and other spending. To give some perspective on the other side of the equation, the net transfers from Albertans over the last two decades meant a benefit of $41,801 per family outside Alberta. That’s an incredible sum that they received in federal and provincial spending that they did not have to pay for through taxes or debt.

It is also clear that the Federal government, as well as some provincial counterparts, are pursuing policies and making decisions that are not only costing Albertans jobs and livelihoods in Alberta today, but also damaging investor confidence in Alberta so thoroughly that it jeopardizes our children and grandchildren’s prospects at financial security.

Fairness Alberta will improve Canadians’ understanding of how Alberta’s success improves their communities, and how our federal government puts numerous barriers in the way of Alberta’s future prosperity.

What Is Included in the Transfer Meter?

The table below outlines the figures that comprise the calculation. 

Federal Government Revenue & Expenditure in Alberta (2012-2018)

Millions of Dollars
Revenue
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Personal income Tax
21,295
23,629
25,737
26,992
22,707
24,444
25,737
Corporate income Tax
7,839
9,066
10,041
8,697
7,296
6,376
6,531
Goods and services tax
4,503
4,808
5,169
5,250
5,014
5,330
5,547
EI Contributions
2,769
3,273
3,449
3,415
3,256
2,799
2,934
Other Revenue¹
4,969
5,353
5,593
5,352
5,028
5,480
5,997
Total Revenue
41,375
46,129
49,989
49,706
43,301
44,429
46,728
Expenditure
Health and social transfers
3,855
4,143
4,733
5,273
5,551
5,860
6,077
Final expenditure on goods and services
4,637
4,617
4,641
4,604
4,721
5,132
5,187
Old age security
3,150
3,277
3,434
3,621
3,823
4,106
4,407
EI benefits
1,281
1,334
1,471
2,094
3,079
2,760
2,278
Interest on public debt
2,999
3,036
2,857
2,720
2,553
2,488
2,748
Other expenditure²
6,218
6,204
5,797
6,638
7,615
8,824
8,856
Total Expenditure
22,140
22,611
22,933
24,950
27,342
29,170
29,553
Net Contribution (Revenue less Expenditure)
19,235
23,518
27,056
24,756
15,959
15,259
17,175
Net Contributions
($ per capita)
4,964
5,908
6,625
5,973
3,803
3,596
3,994

¹ Other revenue – withholding taxes, fuel taxes, excise duties, etc.
² Other expenditure – child benefits, interest on the debt, transfers to aboriginal governments, etc.