Making Sense of Equalization and Fiscal Transfers in Canada


The University of Calgary, (Alberta, Canada) has organized an online two-days-course on intergovernmental fiscal relations. According to the syllabus of the seminar, the session will explore federal-provincial transfers in Canada, beginning with unpacking the rich history of transfers since Confederation.

The course will pay particularly close attention to how the various transfer programs work today. It will focus both on explicit transfer programs, such as equalization, and implicit ones, such as federal revenue and spending generally. The equalization program will be a main focus. The implications of federal transfers for Alberta will also be a central theme.

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Describe the historical development of federal transfers in Canada since 1867
  • Explain how equalization works and why its design has evolved over time
  • Identify whether a federal program is a transfer or not, and recognize the factors that affect this
  • Participate productively in public conversations and discussions over federal transfers and how they affect Alberta

For more information, click here.