Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Alberta government is taking the next step towards a referendum question on equalization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Alberta government is taking the next step towards a referendum question on equalization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Alberta moves forward on equalization referendum, with vote proposed in October

Kenney says yes vote would give him some leverage for pushing a constitutional amendment

The Alberta government is taking the next step towards a referendum question on equalization.

Premier Jason Kenney says his government will put before the legislature a motion on the wording of a referendum question.

If passed, the question would ask whether the section of the Constitution that that commits the federal government to the principle of making equalization payments should be removed.

If passed, the referendum would be held in conjunction with municipal elections Oct. 18.

A yes vote would not change the equalization structure, but Kenney says it would give him some leverage as he tries to rally support nationwide for a constitutional amendment to make it happen.

Kenney says the equalization program is unfair to so-called have provinces such as Alberta that have been massive net contributors to equalization but are now experiencing difficult economic times.

—The Canadian Press