PEI Is Officially Not The Poorest Province In Canada Anymore
But it is another Atlantic province.
Every province sees good times and bad times but the federal government actually figures out which ones have it the worst and gives them more money. In the latest rankings, the poorest province in Canada is no longer P.E.I. but another Atlantic province is taking the title and the new distribution of funds that comes with it.
P.E.I. has long been considered the poorest province in Canada, but now, New Brunswick has that title and will start getting the most funding per person in the province from the federal government in April 2020.
Three years ago, P.E.I. was getting $301 per person more than New Brunswick was, and last year, it was $65 per person more. Now that's all changed, with New Brunswick getting the most.
The money to deal with their poor economic numbers will come from the federal government's equalization support program.
The program is designed to give poorer provinces, like New Brunswick, a helping hand so that they can give their citizens similar amounts of services for similar tax levels as richer provinces.
Even though they will be getting some money out of it, the provincial government says it doesn't make the news any easier to hear.
"Wow. That's tough to take," said New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves to reporters. "When your transfer payments go up, it's a sign your economy is weak. I'm not crazy about that. We want New Brunswick to be a have province, not a have-not province."
Based on figures from the federal government, New Brunswick's share of equalization payments is rising by 9.2% to $2.21 billion.
That works out to about $2,826 per person in New Brunswick, which is the most ever paid to a province according to the CBC.
While this isn't really anything anybody wants to learn about their province, some are choosing to look at the situation from a different angle.
In a Reddit post about New Brunswick being Canada's poorest province, some Canadians found ways to be humorous about it.
One person said, "We did it! In your face PEI!"
"Hell yea best of the best baby," another said.
Another person asked, "How long before they try and join Maine?"
New Brunswick isn't the only one receiving funding this year.
P.E.I. will get $2,825 per person, Nova Scotia will get $2,184, Manitoba will get $1,815 and Quebec will get $1,547 as part of the equalization program.
"We want to be the ones that help everybody else, but right now we do need the help," said Steeves.