Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Never gets.

Not after Charest used the Harper fiscal imbalance payment
windfall as a tax break.

In a carefully orchestrated leak, the Charest government has served notice that it wants a new constitutional round to entrench what it calls "a Charter of Open Federalism," adopting the language of Stephen Harper's famous Quebec City speech, and effectively throwing his own words back at him.

In a Canadian Press story played prominently by Le Devoir yesterday, Quebec Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benot Pelletier was all too available to confirm that Quebec would be "very, very insistent" on advancing open federalism on the division of powers between Ottawa and the provinces and specifically limiting the federal spending power.

For one thing, this is too clever by half. For another, it is a complete misread of both the political temperature and the public's mood in the Rest of Canada. However disposed Harper, as a proponent of classical division- of-powers federalism, might have been to such a gambit before Charest blew it on the fiscal imbalance, the prime minister can hardly entertain it in the context of Quebec's having got what it asked for, and coming back for more.

"Open Federalism" coming from a guy who says; " War Is Peace"

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