Source: Facebook

British Columbia Premier David Eby says he’s seriously contemplating joining Newfoundland and Labrador’s legal challenge against the federal government’s equalization formula, seeking a fairer distribution of money. 

Eby voiced strong criticism of the current system, which he believes gives “special treatment” to provinces like Ontario and Quebec while leaving Western provinces to dry. 

“We don’t ask for special treatment, we don’t ask for anything other than (what) any other province is getting,” said Eby on Thursday. “All we want is fair treatment between us and Ottawa and all the other provinces.”

N.L. Premier Andrew Furey defended Eby’s stance, describing the existing equalization formula as “fundamentally broken.”

He insisted that a judicial review was necessary to ensure fairness in the scheme.

Relations B.C. and the Liberal government have become tense following a series of exchanges between Eby and federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller. 

It began during the Western Premiers’ Conference in Whitehorse, Yukon, earlier this month when Eby accused the federal government of showing preferential treatment towards Quebec and Ontario. 

The B.C. premier highlighted the $750 million allocated to Quebec to manage its immigration influx as an example of this bias.

Eby’s criticisms extend beyond the issue of asylum seekers, he argued, encompassing broader federal funding practices that he deems unfair to Western Canada. 

“I think it’s critically important to recognize that my concern is not about migrant funding for British Columbia,” said Eby.

“I mean, part of it is, but my concern is about fair treatment for British Columbia from the federal government.”

He pointedly criticized the billions invested in Ontario and Quebec’s automotive industry while infrastructure projects vital to British Columbia, such as the Massey Crossing, are overlooked. 

The George Massey Tunnel replacement project in Metro Vancouver, estimated at $4.15 billion, has yet to receive a specified federal contribution, further fueling the debate.

The collaboration between the two premiers is not limited to fiscal matters; they have also pledged to embark on a united front in advancing clean energy technology evidenced by a recent commitment signed in St. John’s, following Furey’s visit to British Columbia.