Posted on Jun 14, 2021
O’TOOLE REFUSES TO COMMIT TO REMOVING EQUALIZATION FROM THE CONSTITUTION
EDMONTON - Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O’Toole is refusing to commit to removing equalization from the constitution if he becomes Prime Minister, and if Alberta’s equalization referendum succeeds.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley wrote to O’Toole on June 9 to ask if he will proceed with removing the principle of equalization from the constitution. In response to a question on his intentions this morning, O’Toole made some vague remarks about national unity, but refused to commit to taking up the Kenney plan.
“Jason Kenney’s closest federal ally, the man he endorsed for the federal Conservative leadership, won’t touch this idea,” said Notley. “Without a willing federal partner, there is no path to removing equalization from the constitution and the referendum becomes a $10 million stunt by Jason Kenney to distract from his collapsing poll numbers and disastrous record on jobs and the economy.”
While in government, Notley repeatedly raised concerns with the equalization formula, including the cap on fiscal stabilization payments and the way in which natural resource revenues are calculated.
“There are significant problems with the equalization formula Jason Kenney wrote in 2009,” Notley said. “But instead of fixing them, Jason Kenney wants another pointless fight with Ottawa, one that even the federal Conservative leader wants no part of.
“The top priorities for Albertans right now are jobs and the economy, not constitutional fights.”