Friday, May 13, 2005

And the Voice of Reason is...

...Ralph Klein?!?!?!

Yes, believe it or not, contrary to the Herald's front page story, Ralph Klein is not going to plunge into the billion dollar re-election cash giveaway. Although virtually every single province in Canada has demanded a side deal from Mr. Desperate, Klein is actually refusing to cook the books and create a fictitious "imbalance".

CALGARY (CP) - Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says his province isn't about to go cap in hand to Ottawa and join the lineup of provinces scrambling for deals with a federal government struggling to retain power.
"We're not being shortchanged in any way, shape or form," Klein told reporters Friday.

Klein went on to comment on the current situation:

'There's no perceived shortfall," Klein said. "The only perception is being created by some people who have an interest in creating a perceived shortfall."

In recent months, the federal government has been negotiating side deals with individual provinces, including a deal for $5.75 billion with Ontario struck last weekend. Pacts with Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Nova Scotia, were signed earlier this year.

Klein said Ontario pays for several services that should be covered by the federal government and that's what Ottawa has agreed to cover.

Now, I should point out that there's no way Alberta would ever get any more cash. It would be insulting to ask considering how rich the province is right now. Plus, they'd never get a side deal because there aren't enough swing seats in the province to make it worth anyone's while.

But still, Ralph could have scored some cheap political hits against the federal government and he chose not to. This is the first time I've ever said something nice about Ralph on this blog and, although it pains me to say it, it bears repeating: Ralph Klein has become the voice of reason among Canada's Premiers and their headwaiter.

Welcome to the twilight zone.


  • Klein could have tried to make Martin look bad by going after him for more cash using the same rationale that the other provinces have been using, yet he decides not to.

    Do you think that this is another sign that he's gently trying to keep Harper from power, in the same vein as his ill-timed Canada Health Act remarks last election?

    By Blogger Sheamus Murphy, at 11:43 p.m.  

  • I think it's great. The world is taking a turn for the surreal. Basically this is an Albertan who says that Alberta is not being shortchanged in favour of other provinces.

    Will wonders never cease?

    By Blogger Sigma-6, at 12:36 a.m.  

  • It would be extremely difficult for Alberta to claim it needs more federal money when the budget surpluses are running $4 Billion a year and the province has no debt (beyond the infrastructure shortage - and Alberta's infrastructure is in far better shape than the other provinces)

    By Anonymous Big M, at 12:47 a.m.  

  • Canada is upside down; nothing makes much sense anymore at this point.

    You can say about Ralph good things and bad, but one thing has always been clear: he does genuinely care about his province and has no designs on a career in federal politics. Yes, he has made mistakes, like everyone else, but even those mistakes were based on genuine convictions.

    Despite all of his shortcomings (personal and political), I shudder to think where Alberta may be today if it had not been for Ralph.

    Besides, as Margaret Wente pointed out in the Globe & Mail, Ralph is more Liberal (or even NDP) than McGuinty in Ontario.

    By Anonymous Werner George Patels, at 1:32 a.m.  

  • Mr. Murphy, more likely that Dithers has gone from ridicule to pity, and Ralph has pity for poor wretched things.......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 p.m.  

  • I think the reasonable new Ralph is probably a reflection of Rod Love's return. Love is an exceptionally savvy advisor and enjoys the ability to influence Ralph Klein like no other.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • I'd hate to burst all of your bubbles, but the province signed off on another provincial giveaway. The deal is technically for cities, but I don't see any Alberta PC members criticizing it.

    And of course, the CPC states it will honour any deal the Liberals make...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:33 p.m.  

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