12/20/2011 03:02 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

Saskatchewan premier says equalization should be overhauled to include hydro

REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says it's time to modernize the federal equalization program to add hydro to the formula.

The program transfers money to poorer provinces so they can provide services comparable to those of richer regions.

The formula is based in part on non-renewable resource revenues, such as those from oil and gas.

Wall says it's time to be reasonable and recognize that hydro could be an even more important asset than oil in the long term.

He says some provinces, such as Quebec which has abundant hydro, get a lot of equalization money.

Wall says oil can benefit economies in Saskatchewan and Alberta, but a lot of hydro can mean cheap electricity and the chance to export it.