Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stelmach Sells Out

PM slammed for including oil revenues in calculating equalization payments

But not by the Alberta Government. The silence from Alberta is deafening over Ottawas grab of natural resource revenues under the new Equalization/Fiscal Imbalance plan.Expect no protests from Alberta over the Conservatives New NEP.

They gave some cake to Ed Stelmach and the Provincial Tories to eat. And while this NEP affects the new oil rich provinces of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, Alberta says I'm ok, I got Mine Jack.....

The premier noted that the equalization formula matters little to wealthy Alberta -- a marked shift in tone from his predecessor Ralph Klein, who said the inclusion of resource revenues was his "line in the sand," and that it amounted to a raid on Alberta's oil wealth.

Stelmach's tone Monday was closer to that of Finance Minister Lyle Oberg, after a week that saw the pair appear to take different sides on the issue. Oberg's side won out, as Ottawa agreed with his protests against giving Alberta $170 less per person than other provinces got in the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer.

Ottawa will give Alberta its equal share on the CST immediately, but will not boost its grants through the health fund until a decade-long federal health accord ends in 2014.

Ralphie boy all is forgiven come back quick the Party needs you to fight Ottawa......nope can't count on that. We will have to rely on "Socialist" Saskatchewan to defend against the Harpocrites new NEP.

However, Calvert pointed out that the budget also imposes a cap on equalization payments which renders the choice of formulas moot in Saskatchewan's case. Regardless of which formula is used, the province will get only $226 million this year, not the $800 million Calvert had hoped for, and it's slated to get nothing next year as the province's fiscal capacity improves.

Calvert pointed to a fundraising brochure sent out under Harper's name prior to the last election, which stated that a Conservative government would ensure provinces get to keep "100 per cent of your oil and gas revenues. No small print. No excuses. No caps."

"That's the promise that has been betrayed," said Calvert, pointing to the cover of the brochure, which cites a Gaelic proverb: "There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept."

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