Choose your weapons: frozen peas or artillery shells
Any of the Premiers who think this upcoming negotiation on equalization will be a repeat of negotiations of old need to give their heads a good strong shake.
This is not Paul Martin looking for a 3 day photo op with the Premiers as a prelude to shoveling billions more out the door. If you prepare for this round of negotiations as you have in the past it will be akin to bringing a pea shooter to an artillery duel. Your choice.
Saskatchewan Premier wants answers from PM on equalization
"While I appreciate the philosophical commitment, from my point of view that is not satisfactory to resolving this file. The philosophical commitment needs to turn to reality over the next several months."
There are also concerns from the NDP over the Conservative intent to scrap the Kelowna accord on aboriginal issues and the child-care agreements signed by the previous government with the province.
There's also dismay over the cutting of federal funding to the Saskatchewan Forest Centre, the softwood lumber deal with the United States, the scrapping of the deal to sell grain hopper rail cars to a farmer's coalition and ongoing uncertainty over whether future agricultural programs will continue to be split 60/40 per cent between the federal and provincial governments.
Calvert said Harper told him he would not do anything on equalization until the expert panel on equalization appointed by the Liberals reports shortly.
The premier wants assurances Harper will act on his promise no matter what the panel reports and to ensure the changes are made before next year's federal budget.