So, the Kenney-led UCP government in Alberta wants to hold a referendum on equalization.
Here’s the proposed question:
I want to bring two points to your attention here. First, is the fact that this is about removing Section 36(2) from the constitution. To put it bluntly, this is a non-trivial amendment to propose (I’ll come back to this in a moment). Second, is that this isn’t a referendum about opening negotiations with Ottawa about the equalization formulas as they are currently implemented.
If, as Kenney was asserting but a few years ago, equalization is unfair to Alberta, fixing that should be a matter of negotiating new formulas with Ottawa. Of course, in Kenney’s mind, that would mean negotiating with those gosh-darned Liberal elites that Trudeau Junior (add sneer) has installed. No, this is political theatre. It’s purpose has more to do with creating another grievance politics item that conservatives can bang on about for years to come like they did with the NEP.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this and explore what’s likely really behind all this, shall we?