Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hands Off!

In a speech before the Edmonton Petroleum Club yesterday, Premier Ralph Klein warned Ottawa to keep its hands off the province's oil money. Alberta has an incredibly strong economy, driven in large part by the incredibly high price of oil right now. The province has no sales tax and unemployment is extremely low.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The feds better keep their hands off our money. They stole it twenty years ago and they better not now. Our economy is incredibly strong thanks to the Conservatives, we don't need the stupid Liberals messing it all up now.

3:01 p.m.  
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Amen! That's our oil money.

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