Ottawa's finances are fine over the long haul, according to the PBO, but provincial budgets are "unsustainable," largely but not entirely because of growing health-care costs. The longer the provinces wait to bring their budgets under long-term control (all except Saskatchewan are in deficit), the greater and more painful the restrictions or tax increases will be later.
One way to ease this pain would be stronger economic growth. But that would depend on better performance from Canadian business in R&D and innovation, as the Council of Canadian Academies has just pinpointed.
So let me get this straight - healthcare costs are provincial, but a key solution to the problem requires a national focus on R&D/innovation.
Canada's finances are sound, but the finances of Canada's provinces aren't. But the provinces are in Canada. This is like saying that the boss is wealthy but the employees, man, they have to pull up their socks and start hitting their quotas.
What happens if every province defaults on their debt? Does the Canadian government have no responsibility for that?
There are four levels of government, but one tax payer - we're all familiar with that notion. If any community or province in Canada is in an unsustainable position, how can it be argued that Canada is just fine, thank you very much?
This is the kind of turn-the-other-way logic an Objectivist approach to federalism will get you, folks.