A newly-formed advocacy group has erected a billboard in the heart of Toronto with the hopes of raising awareness about Alberta’s economic contributions to Canada. 

The billboard, located on Bay Street, uses Statistics Canada data to show that from 2007–2018, Alberta and Ontario have contributed $240 billion and $98 billion to Canada’s economy, respectively. 

According to the group’s website, Fairness Alberta wants to deploy non-partisan advertising campaigns to inform more Canadians about why a strong Alberta would benefit the entire country. 

The Toronto billboard notes that net federal spending to “the rest of Canada” (all provinces and territories other than Alberta and Ontario) amounted to $378 billion from 2007–2018.

“There’s a tremendous amount at stake as we navigate our way through the current crisis,” said Fairness Alberta Executive Director Dr. Bill Bewick. 

“We want Canadians here on Bay Street and across the country thinking about how critical Alberta’s productivity has been to Canada’s economy and federal budgets.”

Fairness Alberta has also designed proposals to fix Canada’s equalization scheme, such as a reduction of annual net tax contributions that Alberta must make to the rest of the country.

“Equalization is extremely controversial and while it is only a part of Albertans’ $324 billion net federal contribution since 2000, we’ve presented reasonable reforms here that would significantly reduce that outflow while still providing support when provinces need it,” said Bewick.

According to a report by the Conference Board of Canada, Alberta is the province projected to endure the most financial consequences from the coronavirus pandemic.  

“Alberta will be hardest hit this year as it contends with the combination of restrictions on activity to slow the spread of the virus and an unprecedented drop in the price and demand for oil,” claims a summary of the report.

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