Tom Lukiwski, MP Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, in a Media Release dated March 22, 2005 again called for the elimination of non-renewable resource revenue from the equalization formula. Fair enough, but this time he has gone too far by charging that Ralph Goodale has turned his back on all Canadians and betrayed the people of Saskatchewan. Further, he claims Ralph Goodale has long ago abandoned the interests of his home province. Lukiwski’s bravado remarks contribute nothing to resolving the issue. We know one thing, the SaskParty abandoned Lukiwski after he contributed to their recent loss to the NDP in the last provincial election.
Here are the facts. Goodale totally revamped the equalization formula to benefit more needy provinces. He placed a freeze on federal equalization clawbacks, which netted Saskatchewan $590 million this year alone. When you add this to the $120 million adjustment payment made to the province last spring it totals $710 million in extra federal funding this fiscal year. Goodale indicated in a speech in Moose Jaw this spring that even more money is on its way this year. Lukiwski is obviously drawing a long bow by claiming Goodale has abandoned Canadians or Saskatchewan people. Goodale has done more for Saskatchewan than Lukiwski will do in the next decade.
Stephan Harper was sharply condemned by all Canadians for once having stated that the Maritime Provinces were in a state of dependency as they depended to largely on the federal government for financial support. Saskatchewan has broke out of being a have not province to that of being a have province, due in most part, to oil and gas revenue. The equalization formula does need adjusting as Lukiwski argues, but he should also be arguing that it time for Saskatchewan to break out, go it alone and quit the continual whining to the federal government for financial assistance.