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New ATM Service: Constitutional advice

This Magazine Staff

The Post today reports on a very interesting new study from the Bank of Nova Scotia, warning that the fiscal arrangements between Ottawa and the provinces are a total mess.
No kidding.
I haven’t read the actual study yet, but while some of it sounds a bit iffy (the Bank appears to endorse the notion of a “fiscal imbalance”), it makes some excellent points about the constitutional impropriety of a lot of what the feds are doing.
For example, of Jack Layton’s big score on the budget, it says:

The NDP deal, for example, funnels federal spending specifically to post-secondary education and training, affordable housing and energy conservation, areas that provinces would have funded through federal social transfers — if they so wanted.

And the article ends with an eminently sensible statement from Mary Webb, one of the study’s co-authors:
“If a government has the responsibility of raising revenue, then it should be [its] responsibility for spending the revenue. The public is more easily able to understand what’s happening.”
As is the relevant legislature, for that matter.

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