Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Peckford says UCP leadership candidate Danielle Smith and her Alberta Sovereignty Act is a way for Alberta to strengthen its hand in bargaining with the federal government..In an exclusive phone interview from his home in Parksville, BC, Peckford — the last living architect of the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms — told the Western Standard, "I think what Smith is doing and what Alberta is trying to do through her if she's successful, is to really call the bluff of the rest of Canada.".According to Peckford, the Alberta Sovereignty Act is one of the steps the future premier of Alberta needs to fight the federal government and its decisions that affect the province of Alberta.."I think it is one of the steps that, obviously, is necessary. At this time, what people forget and we see it now with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the pandemic mandates and lockdowns, is that the old traditional approach to Confederation is no longer relevant," said Peckford..Smith recently released the details of her proposed Sovereignty Act to Albertans and the rest of Canada..According to Smith, defending Alberta from Ottawa’s continuous economic and constitutional attacks against Alberta and her proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act have been the central issues of the UCP leadership campaign.."The majority of Albertans are frustrated with the ineffective letter writing campaigns and empty rhetoric employed by past premiers in dealing with attacks on Alberta by our federal government and want effective action to deal with the ‘Ottawa Problem’ without further delay," Smith said..Smith said the act is a proposed law that would affirm the authority of the provincial legislature to refuse provincial enforcement of specific federal laws or policies that violate the jurisdictional rights of Alberta under Sections 92-95 of the Constitution or that breach the Charter Rights of Albertans..Peckford believes the Alberta Sovereignty Act is "a very wise strategy being used by the Smith campaign in order to keep the country together, not to break it up."."The Alberta Sovereignty Act is a bargaining chip," Peckford said.."It is a measure. Alberta could introduce it into the legislature and then somebody could challenge its constitutionality, but they can go ahead and introduce it. And then it's up to the legislators to pass it. Don't forget this is only doing what all the provinces in the federal government are already doing. They're breaking the Canada Health Act as we speak.".Peckford told the Western Standard to look back at political history in Newfoundland and offshore oil revenues. ."If Newfoundland can violate or bypass the Constitution on oil revenues I suppose Alberta has every right to see whether they can do something with an Alberta Sovereignty Act," Peckford said.."Judges every day, are ignoring the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provisions of the supremacy of God and the rule of law. For example, their ruling against the meaning and clear understanding of the Charter of the Canada Health Act.".Peckford also believes the equalization formula in Canada is outdated and needs to be changed — something Smith spoke about in her many campaign stops around the province of Alberta.."It has to be a fairer, and more equal," Peckford said.."Revenue sharing between the provinces when one province gets very wealthy and other provinces are getting very poor is unfair, if you have to redistribute the income around the country, you must do it on a basis, which is fair, even to the wealthier provinces. And so, I think what Daniel Smith is doing, and her team is recognizing, that they have something to bargain with."."The Constitution and the traditional way of doing things has been discarded, to help the federal government out. I think the chickens are coming home to roost. And people like Daniel Smith and others realizing that want sauce is good for the goose is good for the gander," said Peckford.