Equalization Fairness Nova Scotia

Provincial Politicians Ignoring Cape Breton

It seems that the Government does not want to listen to the people who employ them.

Ottawa says we have to deal with this Equalization mess on a Provincial level and the Provincial politicians do not want to talk to us.

What choice do we have but to get organized and protest here in Cape Breton!

Get Involved

Please click the “get involved” button to sign up to help us protest.  We will get the attention of the country and force someone to deal with this crime against the people of Nova Scotia. What do you think?

36 replies on “Provincial Politicians Ignoring Cape Breton”

When is the first protest? How will we know in advance.? It is time to demand change and I hear lots of people talking about this. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Caper. Our group is working long and hard at this issue. We will be in a position to protest very soon and when you sign up on this site, you will receive an email informing you of the meetings and protests. There is a meeting on Tuesday, March 6th at 7:30 pm. at the Cedars Club on MacKenzie Street in Sydney. The CBRM Councillors have been invited to attend as well as a very large and growing group of concerned people. Everyone is welcome.
DR. Rev. Albert Maroun

Keep silence before God O Cape Breton Island; and let the oeople renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgrment.
ISAIAH 41 :1
God Bless

For to many years this government(all stripes) here in Nova Scotia have kept us hostage when it comes to fairness for the equalization program. Our municipalities are dying (some have already),were forced to join with some other municipality because they were at death-door! Our group NSEF have contacted every level of government and it has fallen on deaf ears. There is absolutely no respect for Section 36 of the Constitution Act of 1982 from any of our provincial governments,passed or present here in Nova Scotia, this act was put in place to assist regions experiencing high unemployment and economic instability. Governments here in N.S. have talked the talk, when looking to be elected, but when elected they continued to snub you and ignore any talk around equalization. Well enough is enough, we the people need to act and take back our power, let us receive what is our entitlement to the equalization program is, no more sitting back.

I very much hope this issue can remain nonpartisan in the sense that nobody vying for public office grabs the issue and runs with it, as their own.

Over the two decades of the equalization struggle none of our provincial and federal politicians have fought the political system to represent the voters who put them in office.
Over that period, the CBRM has been robbed of approximately $4 billion if the 26% of the yearly federal equalization payments that was generated because of the fiscal deficiency of our many municipal units had received that sum instead of the NS government less than one percent of that yearly federal transfer. The loss to the remainder of Nova Scotia’s municipal units is another $4 billion.

This kind of political corruption will continue, if we continue to re-elect the same politicians as before who have sat quietly as our community is economically in decline. The ones benefiting from this arrangement are the very politicians we continue to elect who continue to not represent their community. Their handsome salaries continue and their hefty pensions will be paid.

We are an excellent manifestation of the failure of representative government. Voting proves to change nothing in our situation. Even changing the vote to another political party has not changed anything. All the political parties when forming the government take their marching orders from the controlling money interests that want the Capital Region to be the growth center for this province. The residents of the outlying areas beyond the boundary of the Capital Region are being told that they will have to fend for themselves as the financial benefits of the equalization they are sent by the federal government will be used in the Capital Region.
Unless and until the voters stop re-electing people as they have been all these years, CBRM will continue on its present trajectory down in economic decline.
Our politicians cannot be relied upon to fight for justice.

Our business and residential taxes will remain extremely high or even higher eventually and the quality of our services will keep going down if we keep doing the same thing each election time.

We need more people to gather at the meeting of NSEF to expose how our government is working to destroy our economic future. Come to our meetings to learn the details of how you are being robbed by your elected representatives who do absolutely nothing to draw attention to this robbery.

NSEF next meeting is MARCH 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the CEDARS CLUB off Townsend Street, SYDNEY by the Kays Kozy Korner. Come and bring a friend or two or more.

A letter that came to NSEF via Email:

I am appalled at the equalization numbers you are quoting! I’m sure they are accurate but is there a website where I can confirm them? Sadly, I am one of the lifelong Cape Bretoners who have sat back and not done anything about it! Same apathy as the majority. I only vote so I can have the right to complain when the politicians do nothing – which is 99% of the time! How can we get the young people (my husband and I are retired seniors) to start sharing their concerns (loudly) before they pack up and head for greener pastures with more opportunities? Every time we visit Halifax, I am saddened by the amount of growth and progress there while Cape Breton and the rest of rural NS is dying a slow death!!!

Above is a comment from someone on our website. We have provided the sender with the proof of our numbers, so I thought I would share them publicly for the readers. The links are below.

The above links will show what Ottawa sends to the Provincial Government in Halifax and what they send out to the towns and municipalities in the province. The numbers are sickening and people should be aware of this crime against the people of Nova Scotia’s outlying communities. This is why every town is dying and Halifax is thriving. Time to stand up and demand to be heard on this issue.

Thanks for posting the links showing the distribution of equalization payments. I see that in the comparison chart,, HRM is shown as receiving “zero” dollars in the distribution of funds within the province. Is it assumed that HRM receives all funds not distributed to other municipalities or is there something else as play in the distribution formula? Thanks for considering my question. Just trying to get a better understanding of how this “equalization system” operates.

Hi Hector:
Halifax as a city (HRM) does not qualify to receive equalization money. They have low taxes (Commercial & Residential), they have high population growth, low unemployment, etc. The N.S. Government shows on this comparison chart that HRM does not get any of this money but just look around at Halifax and you will see that they are the only place in the province that benefits from it. This is why we are so upset about this injustice. This money is being provided by the federal government for areas like CBRM and the rest of the towns and smaller municipalities across the province but we do not see it. The fact is that the N.S. provincial capital is now addicted to the funds they have been steeling from the rest of the province for almost 2 decades. They have no problem setting our taxes higher and shorting us hundreds of millions every year but if they don’t want to raise HRM’s taxes. They are trying to create a super city in HRM and in the process, they are killing the rest of the province. Now if we can show Ottawa how they are breaking the highest law in Canada (Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Constitution) they will be forced to dole out that money accordingly. Government in this Province is making decisions that the people (voters) should be making and it has to stop. The government needs to be accountable for their actions to the people who they work for. Somewhere down the line this has become corrupt because the people just trust their politicians to do the right thing. Time to have a voice and start to speak up. Hope this answers your question Hector and thanks for taking an interest. More people need to do the same.

Thanks again for your reply. I guess my question is then, how is equalization money being directed to HRM? I think it’s important to identify those mechanisms. As you say, if we can show that federal equalization funds are being wrongfully redirected to HRM, then the case can be made in Ottawa that municipalities outside HRM are being cheated out of funds that are rightfully theirs. To do this, we need to be able to illustrate by what paths the money travels.

I have been very concerned about this for years and I’m joining you.I have a dew ideas. One of them is: do you think we should team up with all the other towns which have been robbed.
I agree with the above Lady and we all do of course. It is nothing short of scandalous that the money is used on luxury things, extravagantly built, way beyond what is needed to be efficient.
that does not create any business, all that within probably 2 square kilometers. éWatch the new hospital up there. It is going to be a palace no doubt. Meanwhile our kids have to drive 450 km to see a doctor for a mental crisis. Let’s Unite and fight it. Mayor Morgan worked so hard and, if I remember right Cecil Clark was the Minister of Justice when John’s appeal was refused, and stopped dead by the High Court of Justice of Nova Scotia

Thank you Madame Tanner. You are right and the fact that we are so “unequal” is a crime against the people of Cape Breton Island. Our name is the Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness and when we started it was to fight for all areas of the province and back in the day we have reached out to all the areas and board members actually went there to meet with them. The various towns and municipalities did not join us so we fought for our Island. We do have kits ready for each town in Nova Scotia to join our movement including websites, email and contacts so they may join our fight. We continue to contact them today. Together, we could make the difference but we can not force anyone to do anything.

Thank you for being a part of this group Madame Tanner and thank you for spending your life educating people of Cape Breton, you were an amazing teacher.

Is there not a role for the federal government to ensure that the equalization payments are being distributed fairly and to ensure that our constitutional rights are being met? Why not extend the invite to our members of Parliament…they have a responsibility to Cape Breton as well as our MLAs?
Thank you

Thank you very much Karen Shea for your comment: I certainly would agree that the Federal Government should have a role in how the equalization payments are being distributed. But in the passed the Federal Government has said that it is the Provincial Governments obligation to distribute the payments to the municipalities as they see fit. We, Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness have being in touch with the Federal Government over the last many years about what is happening with our provincial government concerning the injustic of the equalization payments. But I believe it is going to take the Feds getting involved with the N.S. provincial gov. to finally solve this injustic. Most of all I believe as the people of Nova Scotia are getting more aware this will definitely come to the fore-front.

Thank you Margaret! I find it rather appalling that Cape Breton is not getting fair treatment! What are the provincial rules to ensure fair distribution? Is there a provincial committee to oversee the equalization process and it’s fair distribution? Thank you

CBC radio’s The Current this morning (March 14)carried a feature on abandoned housing and economic decline in Cape Breton; I e-mailed the suggestion that a root cause, misappropriation of equalization funds, be investigated by The Current or another CBC program, citing as helpful sources and Dr. Guy’s column in today’s Cape Breton Post. Given my wretched luck with computers, it might help if a few others were to send such suggestions.

I have several questions: On what grounds was the NSEF’s appeal to the NS courts rejected? Why did no other community join ours in this struggle? Have other provinces experienced similar problems with their equalization grants?

Finally, thanks to the stalwarts who have carried on the struggle for years, despite all discouragements.

Thank you Margaret for your input. We will contact CBC Radio…The Current and see what other information they may need to do an investigation concerning the misappropriation of equalization funds.Question 1. NSEF hasn’t yet appealed to the NS courts concerning the misappropriation of equalization funds. But in 2009 the CBRM, Mayor John Morgan appealed to the NS Courts to have the case for equalization heard,but the judge of the day threw the case out and it was never heard, judge said the municipality can’t sue the provincial government.Question 2. NSEF has tried to get other municipalities to be involved over the last few years, we are trying right now by sending out to every municipality information on our cause, we are expecting a positive response. Question 3.Yes, there are about 43 other municipalities in N.S. going through the same situation as CBRM. Margaret I hope we have answered your questions,if you need further information,please leave them here.Thank you.

Thank you for your reply,but my last question had to do with other provinces. I don’t know which provinces other than Nova Scotia get equalization grants from the federal government; I wonder whether their towns and small cities are having the same problem as we are with their own provincial governments. If so, could we join forces?

Margaret Young

Hi Margaret, Sorry I missed that one about other provinces….yes, there are other provinces that receive the equalization…..Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba….all the maritime provinces…Nova Scotia,New Brunswick,PEI……That is a good point about whether their towns,small cities are having problems. I will discuss that point at a Board Meeting tonight. Yes, we need all the help we can get. Thanks for your comments, I will get back to you,soon. NSEF.

Hi Margaret: Just to get back to you,concerning other provinces receiving the equalization transfer, I mentioned those provinces above in my last reply. Right now we are working full tilt,trying to bring this equalization fairness awareness to Nova Scotia municipalities. Hopefully in time, sooner then later, we will draw in other provinces (ie) cities, towns and rural communities. Thank you for your interest, continue to follow NSEF.

Hi Margaret. I too emailed CBC wondering why there isn’t more coverage on this topic . That is a big concern of mine…why isn’t there any media coverage on this , news or television and why are there no comments from any of the parties. I would think the opposition would be all over this. There are many questions that still remain to be unanswered.

I am baffled by the fact that the politicians are ignoring this matter, but not surprised. Halifax is the where the most seats are and politicians are afraid of Halifax. What needs to happen is each little town, village, rural community and any are that is affected by this injustice have to join Cape Breton in the fight. Has NSEF reached out to show presence in these areas? UNITED WE STAND!!!

Hello Kim, Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, NSEF was in touch with all other municipalities (42) concerning the injustice to the equalization unfairness, only heard from two of those municipalities. Hopefully, those municipalities will eventually come on board with NSEF. We want all the municipalities in Nova Scotia to be treated with the proper funding from the equalization transfer, we will continue to send that strong message to the government of Nova Scotia. Sincerely, Martha Ross-NSEF.

So, if the HRM is not entitled to equalization monies from Ottawa, nor does there appear to be a “paper trail” of federal monies being passed on to the HRM from the Government of Nova Scotia how, then, does the HRM benefit. The answer, folks, is hidden in plain sight: for example through provincially-funded infrastructure throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality. Maintenance, upgrading, new construction and reconstruction of the network of provincial highways criss-crossing Metro Halifax and Dartmouth and the rest of the HRM/former Halifax County alone costs millions and millions of dollars annually. Out-of-towners see the construction of new interchanges, access roads, and rotaries every time they drive to the HRM for business, health issues, or leisure. Next time you’re up (or down) that way check out network of new access roads and rotaries leading to the new IKEA at Dartmouth Crossing. Marvel at the civil engineering and steady flow of traffic, and think about infrastructure you can’t see, like water and sewer systems. Again, infrastructure. It doesn’t completely solve the mystery of where Cape Breton Island’s misappropriated share of federal equalization dollars are being spent in the HRM. But it helps open our eyes to the Nova Scotia government’s “slight of hand” and our ears to its silence about the misdirection of money that ethically and constitutionally should be shared equitably where it is most needed. The other 49 municipalities of the Province of Nova Scotia that are slowly bleeding to death.

Thank you Rev. Darius B. Powell, For your excellent comment, yes, I agree completely with every thing you have said here. The answer is hidden in plain sight, all the infrastructure HRM, maintenance and the list goes on and on. I for one, see very clearly where our millions and millions of dollars are being spent,and it definitely isn’t in Cape Breton, other municipalities in Nova Scotia. I am in touch with many,many people and they are much aware now, what has and still is happening to our rightful share of the equalization transfer. Shame, shame on the McNeil Government for withholding those monies from there rightful owners.

I understand CBRM is not receiving its fair share of equalization payments in comparison
to PEI which receives $419 million and Cape Breton is almost as large in population. My question is, do the counties of Richmond, Inverness and Victoria fall under equalization since they are part of this island?

Hello Blair…..Thank you for your comment, we appreciate your interest. The counties of Richmond and Inverness do receive equalization payments, they are under paid to. The county of Victoria does not receive equalization, we don’t know why, but we can eventually find out why.

Thank you for your reply. I was curious and now know this is not just a regional issue but one all of Cape Breton should be concerned about! Hopefully, somewhere there is a politician who has enough morality to answer the people’s concerns. Again thanks for the information.

Hello Blair.
I just wanted to clear something up. Richmond currently does not reeive equalization but the town of Port Hawksbury does but not the fair amount.

John R MacDonald
NSEF Board Chair.

HI, I have a question regarding your list of contacts and the Municipal Grants act.
The Executive Council of Nova Scotia is informally or more commonly known as the cabinet of N.S. It is almost always made up of members of the House of Assembly. The Lieutenant Governor as representative of the Queen in Right of N.S. heads the council, and is referred to as the Governor–in-Council.

According to the Municipal Grants Act, “the total equalization grants payable to the municipalities in each year shall be the amount determined by the Governor in Council”. My question: Has the municipal act changed and if not should this gentleman be on the contact list? The newly appointed Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Arthur Joseph Leblanc originally from Arichat CB.

According to the provincial government, this provincial grant program is under review or soon to be. That contact suggestion is a good idea and can be considered by the NSEF Committee.

Hi Jane,
We don’t as of yet, have tee shirts. I will bring that up at a Board Meeting.
I will let you know what we decide.
Thank you for your comment.
Martha Ross…NSEF Board Member.

Gladys Miller,I was away for the last protest but I was in touch while I was away.I am going to make an appt. with Geoff McClellan and meet with him.I was in touch with his sec.,she said when I got back to make an appt.I emailed every mal and others on the list you sent,the only replys I got were from Alfie mcloud and geoffs office.I will keep trying and let everyone know what Geoff said.My emails were very open ,exactly what I thought of them all,especially that they won’t attend the meetings.Thank you,Gladys milley.

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