15. Federalism

The Conservative Party supports the restoration of a constitutional balance between the federal and provincial and territorial governments.

We are committed to the federal principle and to the notion of strong provinces within Canada.

We believe the government should work co-operatively with the provinces to improve the lives of Canadians while respecting the division of power and responsibilities outlined in the Constitution of Canada.

We believe the use of the federal spending power in areas of provincial jurisdiction should be limited, and that provinces should be authorized to use the opting out formula with full compensation if they want to opt out of a new or modified federal program in an area of shared or exclusively provincial jurisdiction.

16. Reform of the Federation

The Conservative Party believes the government should consider reforming Canadian
federalism, taking into account:

i. the need to consolidate Quebec’s position within the Canadian federation due to the
province not signing the Constitution Act, 1982;
ii. the need to alleviate the alienation felt by the citizens of the West; and
iii. the importance of building a long term partnership with aboriginal peoples.

We believe the new Council of the Federation is an important innovation in Canadian intergovernmental relations with the potential to improve collaboration among governments, while respecting regional diversity and flexibility within the federation. We support the work of the Council of the Federation and will encourage the development of better methods of interprovincial information sharing.

17. Fiscal Imbalance

The Conservative Party believes that fiscal balance, brought in by Budget 2007, must be maintained