While Premier Jason Kenney was in Ottawa seeking help from the federal government amidst a financial crisis that could cripple the Albertan economy, Quebec will be gifted $13.2 billion in equalization payments.
The sum is $100 million more than the $13.1 billion the province received last year. Meanwhile, Alberta, alongside Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, has not received any equalization payments since 2010.
Quebec’s share of the equalization total was revealed by the province’s Finance Minister Eric Girard during a budget proposal.
Alberta’s economy has been reeling due to the largest stock market crash since 2008 and an ongoing oil price war that has crippled the province’s core industry.
Kenney made an appearance in Ottawa on Wednesday alongside his fellow premiers to engage the federal government on how to best deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.
“We are facing an economic crisis in Canada and we need the national government to act accordingly with total focus on that issue,” said Kenney.
“We need that more in Alberta, I believe, than any other part of the country.”
Layoffs are expected in the oil and gas sector which has seen some companies lose share valuation by up to 90% in the last two days.
“A number of our energy companies saw their share valuation go down by as much as 90% in the last 48 hours,” said Kenney.
“A lot of those oilfield workers who are on rig sites will be laid off and probably won’t be going back to work.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange plunged over 12% on Thursday, one day after Donald Trump announced a ban on air travel into the US from the European Union.