I will just offer a few pieces of information I took from this. Dr. Locke emphasized that even for him understanding and analyzing how equalization works stretched his skills to the limit. He also stressed that he is just presenting his assessment for public knowledge, and not making any recommendations to people or the government.
(1) Status Quo
(2) O'Brien recommendations/"50% Option" - (50% inclusion of natural resource revenues in the equalization formula, with cap)
(3) The "Harper Letter" (no natural resources 0% included in formula and no cap)
(Please excuse my lack of detail here but it was challenging to observe, interpret and take accurate notes in the time provided - the next item is where I am unsure of the particular term he used, could have been "natural resource revenue", will have to verify that tomorrow)
- Up to 2020
- using the Status Quo formula NL would get $18.5 billion
- using the 50% option, with cap, NL would get $22.8 billion
- using the "Harper Letter", without cap, NL would get $28.6 billion
Like a lot of people I'll take much more time to read the details of what Wade Locke presented and form a clearer opinion. However, based on his presentation, my feeling about our options are more positive than before this information. Even without the "Harper Letter" option where a promise was kept, it appears that NL still does much better than the status quo. The Harper Letter option would be best for the province, but if that's not going to happen, the 50% option sounds better than the status quo to this blogger, so far anyway.