Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is expressing outrage at the federal budget and is accusing Ottawa of acting like a "real predator.''
Marois is particularly incensed with Ottawa's insistence it will enforce the Canada Job Grant in just six weeks — with or without the co-operation of all provinces and territories.
She made the comments at the National Assembly this morning.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty responded immediately, saying in Ottawa it is not up to the provinces to tell the federal government how to spend federal money.
Flaherty says provinces have their own taxation powers and can raise their own taxes.
He is also denying allegations he is trying to involve Quebec in confrontation.
Marois blamed Ottawa for squandering money on measures that are provincial responsibilities. She said the federal government doesn't even have any institutions to manage resources destined for manpower training.
Marois also cast aspersions on the good faith of Denis Lebel, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Quebec lieutenant, who has said he wants to have discussions with the provinces.
She said Lebel, far from wanting to negotiate, is seeking to impose a federal vision on the province.
The Quebec premier also denounced a federal research fund that she complains allows for an overlapping by Ottawa in higher education, a provincial jurisdiction.
She said that instead of doubling up responsibilities, it would be more useful if Ottawa sent a cheque to the provinces.