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Wednesday, August 30, 2006 

Press Grills Harper Over Equalization

As his trip to Saskatchewan ends, Prime Minister Harper was grilled with questions concerning his plan to fix the Fiscal Imbalance. Reporters pointed out promises the Conservatives made during the election campign. Harper was vague in his answers, but told reporters to be patient.

During the election campaign, the Conservative Blue book was widely distributed with the following statement:

The plan
A Conservative government will:
• Work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of fiscal imbalance in a permanent fashion.
• Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.

The 12 nervous Conservative Members of Parliament recently wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to keep the election promise or risk potential political backlash to their fortunes in the next federal election.

CBC Story

Wasn't it sad how Harper just couldn't bring himself to give Saskatchewan the money he promised? He tried so hard to dodge the questions, finally settling on putting it off until the next budget. At least the reporters asked him why other provinces have to be consulted when it's Sask. money.

What is happening with the federal Conservative government is almost the same as what happened when Ralph Goodale was minister of finance. He also promised a fix to equalization for Saskatchewan and then suddenly, everything changed - the promise was broken.

Now again with the Conservatives.

I am wondering if the problem doesn't have it's roots with the officials in the department of Finance. It's almost like whoever inherits the file runs into a brickwall that we just can't get an answer to. There is something missing in this whole story that I just can't put my finger on. But you are right, the federal conservatives are way out on a limb with this promise and they must deliver.

The promise will be kept and the announcement made once all the campers are back in storage and the kiddies are in school and the House is back.
You only make announcements in the summer that you don't want the country debating.

the opposition will attack, right on cue, and the answer: another promise kept

Mr Speaker; the Conservatives...

There is a LOT of merit to what you say. It is still August and the country is probably not thinking about politics, promises, etc.

Yes,I think you are right - political junkie types (and I admit that I am powerless over this affliction) don't turn it off. Good observation. Thanks.

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