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Brad Wall criticizes Ignatieff scenarios, hopes for any kind of majority

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall speaks to the economic community in Toronto in this file photo taken October 29, 2010.

Mark Blinch/Reuters/Mark Blinch/Reuters

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he wants to see Canadians elect a majority government on May 2, but he doesn't want that to be seen as an endorsement of the Harper Conservatives.

Mr. Wall elaborated on a written statement he made this week in which he accused federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff of planning to "overturn the democratic result of the federal election"- after Mr. Ignatieff said he'd consider trying to form a government if the Tories won the election, but failed to secure the confidence of the House of Commons.

"I hope it's a majority government, either way, whatever happens," Mr. Wall told reporters Wednesday, after a meeting with B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

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"I do think we need a time of stability. I think the government that wins the most seats needs to be able to bring down a budget and get the country moving forward. … And I do have a concern about a potential government or an alternative that is dependent on support of the votes of those who are dedicated to the breakup of the country."

Despite his comments, Mr. Wall insisted he was remaining on the "partisan sidelines" and dismissed the suggestion that - as a conservative politician - he might be implicitly endorsing the federal Conservatives.

"We are the Saskatchewan Party. We are running no candidates in the next election," he said.

Mr. Wall said he understands that the parliamentary system allows for other parties to form a government, but added: "If that sort of machination happens, it will not give us the stability we need."

As Ms. Clark and Mr. Stelmach looked on, Mr. Wall said such an outcome would not allow Canadians to make what he called "the very, very clear choice" they must make on the next government and the ballot question, which he deemed to be the last federal budget.

For his part, Mr. Stelmach said he was concerned about the balance of power in Canada being controlled by separatists.

He said some federal leaders are talking about cap and trade, and imposing a carbon tax - an apparent reference to the policy advanced by former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, but ruled out by Mr. Ignatieff - and looking at another equalization program across Canada.

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He called on "those two or three leaders" to come to Alberta and "clarify what they mean in terms of how their plans are going to hurt Alberta's economy."

Ms. Clark, invited to offer her views on the next federal government, declined.

"I do a lot of thinking about federal politics, but I don't do a lot of commenting about it," she said.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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