Meili seeks common front on equalization

Today Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili asked Premier Scott Moe to join him in seeking answers from the three main federal party leaders on where they stand regarding Saskatchewan’s need for a fair equalization formula.

“Saskatchewan people deserve to know where the federal parties stand on our push for a fair equalization deal,” said Meili. “Though we have proposed different solutions, Premier Moe and I are in agreement that the current deal doesn’t work for Saskatchewan people. Today I asked the Premier to join me in seeking clarity ahead of the next federal election on where the parties stand.”

Meili’s position on equalization is consistent with past NDP government efforts: non-renewable resource revenues should be removed from the formula, and Saskatchewan should pursue a court challenge if necessary, to get a better deal.

The letters, to party leaders Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh, reads as follows:

In June of 2018, the Parliament of Canada passed Bill C-74, which locked in the equalization formula through to 2024.

The current equalization formula treats Saskatchewan unfairly, and amendments to the formula to give Saskatchewan a better deal are long overdue. In 2005, the Government of Saskatchewan under Premier Lorne Calvert launched a challenge to fight for a better deal. This action was initially supported by the Saskatchewan Party and the Conservative Party of Canada, however, both of those parties eventually backed away from their commitment to deliver a fairer deal.

The 2019 election is approaching quickly, and many Saskatchewan people are concerned with the way the unfair equalization formula treats our province. What plans, if any, do you have to change the equalization formula to benefit Saskatchewan if you are re-elected as Prime Minister after the next federal election?