Alberta would pull out of the federal equalization program rather than see the other provinces benefit from its oil and natural gas resources, Premier Ralph Klein said.
Klein said on Wednesday he's ready to fight with the eastern provinces to keep Alberta's resource revenues out of the equalization program, which sends federal money to poorer provinces so they can provide services such as health care.
At a meeting next month, other premiers are expected to suggest that Alberta's oil revenues can be included in the calculations that determine how much cash each province gets from Ottawa.
"This is political showdown," Klein said. "This is also a constitutional issue. Alberta has control and authorization and authority over its resources."
Years ago, this stance would have made Klein even more of a hero in Alberta than he was.
He may be right, politically and legally, but coming from a lame-duck premier rolled by his own party, it sounds like the last boasts of victory from the Fuehrerbunker.