Court is not the answer: Casey

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey is surprised and disappointed Prime Minister Stephen Harper would suggest legal action over his government's handling of the Atlantic Accord when he knows the deal was altered.

Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey is surprised and disappointed Prime Minister Stephen Harper would suggest legal action over his government's handling of the Atlantic Accord when he knows the deal was altered.

"This is no way to settle an issue that's very important to every single Nova Scotian," Casey said Tuesday. "That's the issue here. They don't try to solve problems."

Just a few days after Casey was ejected from the Conservative caucus for voting against the government budget, the prime minister threatened to sue Nova Scotia if Premier Rodney MacDonald continued to accuse his government of breaking the accord.

The prime minister is asserting his government has not broken the offshore accord as alleged by the premier and Casey.

Casey said he made his intentions known to the party leadership well in advance of last Wednesday's vote but was not contacted until moments before.

"Instead of working out and talking to me as a reasonable man they didn't try to work it out with me even though they knew I was concerned," Casey said. "We're all people and we have to try and resolve this issue, but going to court is not going to resolve anything."

Despite the ongoing controversy over his vote and the altering of the accord, Casey believes the matter will eventually resolved and Nova Scotia will retain the Atlantic Accord either through public opinion or at the ballot box.

"We had it, we want it and I'm confident we'll get it back one way or another," he said. "Everyone in Nova Scotia will want to know if you support the Atlantic Accord and will you bring it back. That's democracy. I hope we get it back before an election but there's always that backup."

Casey continues to be amazed at the amount of support he's receiving not only from within the riding and the province but from across the county. The veteran MP said he has been receiving calls from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

"Although it's a Nova Scotia contract it's a signature of Canada that they're diluting. People want the government to honour its promises and that its signature is respected and is bulletproof," he said.

He's also happy the premier has come on side and understands why it took him a little longer to take a stand. He's hoping every MP will come to the same conclusion very soon and the accord can be salvaged.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan Ontario Canada

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