Premier Klein is outlining his platform in advance of next month's First Minister's Conference on Equalization Payments. Alberta is concerned about the possibility of a renewed National Energy Program. The NEP was introduced by Pierre Trudeau in 1980 to increase national control over the oil industry and oil prices. The program was reviled in Alberta as a method for federal government to steal money from Alberta.
For perhaps the first time ever, I agree with Premier Klein. Almost every province has an area of the economy in which they specialize. Beyond that, the entire concept of equalization payments is frustrating. Newfoundland has consistently received payments, after decades of being a "have not", one must question the effectiveness of the equalization payments and whether or not the program should continue.