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Tuesday, January 23, 2007 

Calvert and Williams Join Voices Over Equalization Fairness

The federal Conservatives are being accused of using equalization to woo voters in Central Canada, but the Premiers of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador suggest such action will hurt national unity.

Two unlikely Premiers, Lorne Calvert and Danny Williams took their demands for Harper to keep his promises on equalization on the road Tuesday, creating "an alliance for accountability."

A crowd of 200 people at the University of Saskatchewan, heard Williams suggest it is clear that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has moved back from his pledge to remove non-renewable natural resource revenue from the fiscal program.

"Why would a prime minister break a written promise that significantly penalizes two provinces like ours?" asked Williams.

"I think we all know why he might do that. We are facing a federal election and in the end, equality among provinces takes a back seat to the electoral urgency of currying favour with the majority."

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador have long argued to remove non-renewable resource revenue, which is one time only money, from the equalization formula.

"It's not a matter of Atlantic versus Central Canada or Prairie versus Central Canada," said the Saskatchewan Premier.

"We share this deep conviction that as you build the strength of our regions and our provinces, you're building the strength of the nation," said Calvert, who is expected to travel to Newfoundland next month in a show of solidarity.

Other provinces, primarily Quebec and Ontario, want that revenue included so that they can receive larger amounts under the formula.


Photo courtesy of CTV

Here is a tip of the hat to my fellow blogger, Ed Hollet who found a glaring error in the CBC coverage of this story.

Here is Ed's post as it appears on his well known blog site.


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