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Thursday, September 21, 2006 

Will Harper Pick Winners and Losers in Equalization Fix?

During the election, Harper's Conservative Party pledged to fix the fiscal imbalance which exists in the formula by which Equalization payments are allocated to the Provinces.

Reports are circulating that Ottawa is preparing to table a 'fix' that will please large richer provinces like Quebec, Ontario and Alberta but is sure to anger others such as Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Prime Minister Harper likes to portray himself to Canadians as a 'promise keeper'. Premier Lorne Calvert of Saskatchewan and Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador will have something to say about that!

In recent weeks, this story has taken a few turns with Harper calling his election promise a 'commitment' not necessarily a 'promise'.

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.

Sparks will fly! Soon.

National Post

Press grills Harper on equalization

Sask Tory MP's Come Out of Hiding

Tories Blame Liberals for Equalization Problem

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