Joe Ceci hits back in war of words with Stephen Harper

Alberta's finance minister came out swinging against Stephen Harper after the Conservative leader once again used a campaign stop to attack the province's NDP government.

Alberta finance minister slams Conservative fiscal record after Harper jab over lack of budget

Alberta's finance minister fires back at the Conservative leader's criticisms of the NDP 6:21

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci came out swinging against Stephen Harper today after the federal Conservative leader once again used a campaign stop to attack the province's NDP government.

Harper lashed out at the provincial NDP Wednesday during an Edmonton campaign stop for failing to produce a budget amidst declining oil fortunes.

"We don't know what surprises are in store, but we know the NDP has already started raising taxes, because raising taxes is in the DNA of the NDP," Harper said, adding the country can't gamble on a federal government of the same ilk. He had already called the new government a "disaster" on Aug. 3.

Ceci didn't mince words in his response.

"People in Ottawa are playing politics these days, while here in Alberta we are focused on governing," he said in a statement.

"Ottawa has not balanced a budget since 2008, and aren't balanced this year. They have the worst job creation record of any federal administration since World War II and they have added $150 billion to the national debt. These kinds of results seem to be in their DNA."

Axed health levy

Ceci also highlighted that his government axed a health levy introduced by the previous Progressive Conservative government headed by former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prentice.

"The overwhelming majority of Albertan families are paying lower taxes overall than they would have under the former government," said Ceci.

"Those are the priorities the people of Alberta voted for last spring, whether the Conservative campaign likes it or not."

It's the latest volley in an intergovernmental war of words that's most intense between Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who has been openly hostile to the Conservative government in Ottawa. 

In Alberta, it's Harper who is stumping hard against the new Alberta government in an effort to shore up the support of his base in a tight federal race.

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