Casey hopes to end stalemate with Ottawa

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Bill Casey has extended an olive branch to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in hopes of saving the original Atlantic Accord and thawing frosty relations between Ottawa and the province.

Bill Casey has extended an olive branch to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in hopes of saving the original Atlantic Accord and thawing frosty relations between Ottawa and the province.

The veteran Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP, who was expelled from the Conservative Party caucus for voting against the federal budget earlier this year, has sent an open letter to Harper proposing the appointment of an independent third party to look at both positions.

"Both sides are firmly entrenched in their positions and this has created a stalemate that's an impediment between the federal government and the province," Casey said Thursday. "I feel something has to move."

He fears important projects and issues are not getting the attention they deserve because of the ill will.

It's also an opportunity for the prime minister to back up his call for party unity.

"If it is determined that any aspect of the benefits from the Atlantic Accord Agreements were changed by the 2007 budget, then those changes would be reversed and the accords would be restored exactly as agreed upon in the deal signed by the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia," Casey said.

Casey also said he's not doing this in hopes of rejoining the party.

"I'm sitting as an independent now and I plan on staying that way for the foreseeable future. Unless the accord is put back in its original state, I'm not going anywhere," Casey said. " I just want to see this issue resolved so both governments can get back to business."



dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Conservative Party, Government of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada

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