Premier Scott Moe says he’s frustrated over equalization payments, particularly as Quebec stands in the way of the now-shelved Energy East pipeline, which would have moved Alberta oil through Saskatchewan to refineries in New Brunswick.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is on board with Moe and wants to revive Energy East.
“If we were able to do that, we could put people to work in Saskatchewan. We could salvage some of the differential that we’re experiencing on getting our world (crude oil) price here in Saskatchewan, and we could put people to work all along the route of that pipeline,” Moe said.
The Quebec government, however, has said, “there is no social acceptability for oil in Quebec.”
“We have got the one province, in the middle, that just went up in their equalization receiving — they’re now receiving 66 per cent of the equalization pool — saying they don’t want that,” Moe said.
“That province has to allow the rest of Canada to generate wealth in order to share it, and when you don’t allow that to happen, there’s going to ultimately be less to share one day.”
Moe said he’s also frustrated with the equalization payment formula.
He had wanted the formula re-worked as Saskatchewan deals with a downturn in the energy sector. Earlier this year, Moe suggested the formula be changed so that about half of the $19 billion in equalization payments be split among the provinces on a per capita basis.
That proposal was ultimately rejected by the federal government.