12/16/14

Ontario Liberal funding plan is LESS than Harper's federal transfers

Federal transfers to Ontario 2015-16
The federal transfers are out for 2015/16 and Ontario has done well –$1.253 billion or 6.5% more than the total federal transfers to Ontario for 2014/15. 

Apparently, the Wynne government's attack on the Harper government's stingy cash transfers to Ontario are convincing the Conservatives to cough up some more dough for Ontario.  (Just in time for the federal election.)  

The total increase in federal transfers ($1.253 billion) equals a 1.1% increase in overall provincial program spending.  In contrast, the current provincial government spending plan is to increase program spending 0.6% next year, a tiny 0.08% the following year, and then impose a cut of 0.7% the year following that.  

In other words, federal Conservative transfer increases to the provincial government far outstrip total provincial Liberal spending plans.  Ontario "own source" revenue would play no role at all in new program spending.

This is very odd - -in the normal scheme of things federal transfers should make up only a small portion of the overall provincial program spending increase.  It is odder still when you considered that the extra cash is coming from a government that makes few pretenses about its interest in spending cash on programs that benefit working people.  The Ontario Liberals however won an election on defending public services -- there just isn't any funding from them to actually implement that policy it seems. 

Not yet anyway.   We will see if they keep to their hard, hard line line when the Budget rolls around in the new year. They certainly have a bit more cash from the Feds to help make change happen.  


Federal Health Transfers:  The health transfer is up $735 million or 5.95%.  That is $364 million more than it would have been if we had not won a two year extension to the 6% federal health transfer increases in the last federal election (and were instead already stuck with the 3% minimum increase that the Harper Conservatives plan).   

This $735 million federal health transfer represents about a 1.5% increase in total Ontario health care funding. 

Ontario needs to fight for federal health funding:  A Toronto Star  article on Charles Sousa and the federal transfers had not a word on fighting to improve the federal health transfers.   Likewise,  health care funding was largely passed over in media accounts of Kathleen Wynne's note  to Harper earlier this week either.  

Unless the Wynne government picks up their health care game,  Ontario will be stuck with a loss of an extra $364 million for health care every year. 

Federal Support to Ontario (millions of dollars)

2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
–2010
–2011
–2012
–2013
–2014
–2015
–2016
Canada Health Transfer2
9,722
10,141
10,673
11,328
11,980
12,356
13,091
Canada Social Transfer
4,205
4,332
4,463
4,577
4,709
4,843
4,986
Equalization
347
972
2,200
3,261
3,169
1,988
2,363
Total - Federal Support
14,274
15,446
17,335
19,166
19,858
19,187
20,440
Per Capita Allocation (dollars)
1,100
1,178
1,309
1,431
1,467
1,404
1,482
One-time recoverable payment of $150 million for 2011–12 not included.
CHT includes separate payments to Ontario in respect of the Canada Health Transfer for 2009-10 ($489 million) and 2010-11 ($246 million) to ensure Ontario receives the same CHT cash support as other Equalization-receiving provinces.
Photo: Chalmers Butterfield

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