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Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill on March 19, 2013.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill on March 19, 2013.
(CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

John Ibbitson: Harper’s 2013 budget courts confrontation with provinces

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The years of peace and quiet are over.

With its root-and-branch reform of job-training programs in Thursday’s federal budget, the Conservative government is courting confrontation with the premiers. It is also determined to proceed with a national securities regulator, despite provincial opposition.