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November 3, 2008
For immediate release

Minister Sheridan Discusses Economy/ Equalization with Federal and Provincial Counterparts

Provincial Treasury

Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan, along with his counterparts from across the country, today met with Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in Toronto. The objective of this morning’s gathering was to discuss the state of the financial markets and explore ways to deal with economic challenges.

This meeting comes after Provincial and Territorial Leaders, along with their finance Ministers, met in Montreal last week to agree on a seven-point action plan to support employment, economic activity and increased productivity in Canada as a whole and position our economy to benefit from the economic recovery.

“This meeting was a positive one, with everyone agreeing to work together on some important issues facing all Canadians,” said Minister Sheridan. “We talked about the global financial situation and actions that federal and central banking authorities have taken to minimize the economic impact. The group also had a good discussion about the pressures facing private pension plans, access to capital for business and lowering the regulatory burden on businesses.”

The provincial Ministers encouraged the federal Minister to speed up the process to deliver already-approved infrastructure funding. They agreed to revisit and report on progress made on these issues when they meet again in December.

Equalization figures were released by the federal Minister in advance of the normal release in December. For Prince Edward Island, equalization will grow to $340 million in 2009/10 a 5.6 percent increase over 2008/09.

“I was pleased that the federal Minister was able to share next year’s equalization figures with provinces in advance of the normal release,” Minister Sheridan said. “Equalization is our largest revenue source and will assist the province in developing our 2009/10 Budget.”

A restraint measure was added to the program by limiting the growth in total payments to match the growth in nominal GDP. “My officials will review the figures in the coming days to assess the effect these changes will have on PEI,” Minister Sheridan said.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacDonald-Donovan
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