Ottawa tight lipped on offshore projections: MP

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - The federal government will not disclose projections on the offshore agreement with Nova Scotia, says Bill Casey.
The Independent MP for Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley was one of a number of Nova Scotia MPs and senators to request the figures at a briefing yesterday with finance officials in Ottawa.
"They just will not provide us with the projections and they will not confirm the provincial projections," he said.
"Based on the information they've given us it's not possible to say exactly what it is going to yield for the province."
The province says the deal is worth $229 million more than the 2005 Atlantic accord.
He said a request for the figures has been filed through the access to information. Casey said the deal is better than what the province had in the budget.
The federal budget forced the province to choose between the accord and the new equalization formula, a decision which could have cost Nova Scotia $1 billion. Now the province will receive the best of either the new formula or the 2005 formula (which now includes a 3.5 per cent annual escalator clause to the equalization formula).
Casey wonders why all this had to happen.
The reason for the changes in the equalization formula was Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted one uniform equation for the entire country with no side deals.

Organizations: Independent MP, Nova Scotia MPs

Geographic location: Ottawa, Nova Scotia, Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley

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