N.L. decision doesnt surprise Casey

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey is not surprised Newfoundland and Labrador have accepted the money offered through the new equalization program with the federal government.

That doesnt mean he has lost the support of his ally, Premier Danny Williams.

There have always been two aspects to this, one is the principle and one is the money, Casey said.

Buoyed by soaring oil prices, the Newfoundland government projected an $881.8-million surplus on Monday . In doing so, it accepted a deal form Ottawa that Williams previously announced as unacceptable.

The province will receive an additional $66 million from the federal government by opting into the new equalization formula introduced March 19.

They clearly broke a 15-year contract after just two years. Thats why I voted against the budget and the government, Casey said. That contract is still there, but the government refuses to honour it. Instead, they have come up with another way of giving money to the provinces. What Newfoundland has done has agreed to take that money.

Casey said he has yet to speak to Williams or his governments representatives, but he doesnt think their position has changed.

Premier Williams is trying to do the best he can for his province, but that doesnt change the fact the federal government has an agreement with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia that they still refuse to honour, he said.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa, Nova Scotia

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