I believe equalization could work, but today it's an entirely politicized thing so it's quite impractical. I think its difficulties are a symptom of a much larger problem, Canada's political corruption. As far as unity in Canada is concerned in terms of citizen patriotism, I thought there was precious little to begin with, which is one of Canada's strengths, although people like Harper try to increase levels of patriotism for political gain. I believe the problems with equalization aren't a matter of class warfare and division but solely and economic problem as Dodge's essay illustrates in saying that wealth transfers between provinces can play a "counterproductive role if they act to mask inexorable structural change, delay necessary adaptation and create the illusion that the unsustainable can somehow be sustained indefinitely".
The essay is also quoted as saying of the wealth transfers that "Ultimately they can destroy unity by creating resentment, disrespect and distrust." However perhaps the piece you linked to that's referring to the essay is exaggerating the essay's focus on patriotism and social unity. Patriotism is the kind of thing that, again, is often used for ulterior motives! Without reading Dodge's essay itself, I'm highly skeptical of how in-context that quote is taken. Surely the risk of equalization destroying Canadian unity is merely a hypothetical, secondary point, considering that if at the end of the day equalization is economically beneficial to the country then nobody--at least, not in Canada, considering our mildly socialist natures--is going to complain about apparent moral "unfairness".