I stumble across this issue yesterday. The Department of Finance Canada tells us New Brunswick got $1.483 billion in Equalization this year while the NB government had budgeted for $1.632 billion. I suspect there is a reason for this discrepancy. It was probably covered in the media and I just missed but it is a whopper of a difference – roughly $150 million. As the government goes about looking to chop a million here and a million there – $150 million looms large. The last time the NB government received this amount of equalization was back in 2007-2008 (see page 220 of the 2007-2008 main estimates document).
In fact,a quick scan of the last eight budget shows very little discrepancy between budgeted and actual equalization. Then this year – $150 million. Curious.