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Harper dares provinces to sue – Saskatchewan complies.

Would this be sort of similar to George Bush daring the insurgents in Iraq to “bring it on” and then seeing them do exactly that? A couple of days ago Harper said that the provinces complaining about the Atlantic Accord failure to comply by it should either sue the feds or shut up (or face the feds going to court themselves). Well, Saskatchewan has called Harper’s bluff:

Calvert said a lawsuit isn’t his preferred way to deal with the dispute over the federal program, but he tried negotiations and calling on Saskatchewan MPs to vote against the budget and nothing worked. “This is a very poor way to run a country,” Calvert said.

Harper got into his bullying bravado mode, and at least 1 province decided enough was enough.


5 comments to Harper dares provinces to sue – Saskatchewan complies.

  • ALW

    Again – if Calvert can win on that, then it would set a precedent to bind governments with respect to policymaking – I highly doubt the court wants to go there.  And if it did, it'd have <i>huge</i> repercussions for all federal governments in the future.

  • Sask is looking for equal treatment, not a deal, there is a difference.

    Equal means the same as Alberta or the same as NS/NL. If “equal” is mandated then there are two possible outcomes, 100% in the formula or 0% . . . across the board.

    Either NS/NL/SK find that 100% of their revenue is included in the formula and there are no special deals; equal like Alberta, or no one pays; equal like the Atlantic Accord wrt non-renewable resources or Que wrt. renewable resources. If no one pays . . . bye bye Equalization.

    There is only one definition of equal and as we’ve already seen, the SCOC dictates to gov’t.


  • Its related to the same issue, Lance – unhappiness with the Budget doing clawbacks.

    As for Aaron.. the lawsuit won't be about "broken promises", but the constitutionality of the whole thing. Read Calvert's statement and you'll see he's very specific.

  • Saskatchewan is a part of the Atlantic Accord? Who'd a thunk. 🙂

    NS/NL should be _very_ wary of this development. It isn't about a promise, it's about equalization and what that means, Calvert was very specific about that.

    Something that most people miss is that NS/NL have directly opposite complaints compared to SK. If SK wins "equal" that means NS/NL lose.

    It won't happen though. Cavert is cagey, but not stupid. You noticed the "consulting with gov't" lawyers, etc, etc. That means "I'm playing with the media and there's no way in hell I'm going into an election without this issue because it's in the courts and we can't talk about it."


  • ALW

    Er, it's only calling his bluff if the provinces win in court…

    I would actually love to see the provinces win if only because it would set a precedent for all future governments, that they could never break promises.  

    But it won't happen.  The fundamental elements of a contract are offer, acceptance, and consideration (i.e. something in exchange).  What precisely did the provinces offer as consideration for Harper's promise?  Nothing.  Hence, no contract.

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