June 15, 2005
Tom Marshall, Minister of Justice and
Attorney General and Minister responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs
represented Premier Danny Williams at a meeting of the Council of Atlantic
Premiers today in Saint John, New Brunswick.
"There were a number of important issues for Newfoundland and Labrador on
the agenda at this meeting, including Marine Atlantic, inland fisheries
management, economic development, and federal transfers for social
programs," said Minister Marshall.
"I was pleased with the premiers� support of Newfoundland and Labrador�s
view that federal funding for inland fisheries management is insufficient to
meet the ongoing needs in enforcement, conservation, habitat protection, and
other areas. The council agreed to work together to present a common
position to the federal government to seek increased funding for inland
In 2004, the provincial government implemented the Inland Fisheries
Enforcement Program to provide for a dedicated team of conservation officers
to curb poaching on the province�s inland waters. This decision was in
response to government�s position that the federal government was not
adequately living up to its responsibility to provide for enforcement. And
in Budget 2005, the provincial government provided $800,000 to expand the
"The council also understands and supports Newfoundland and Labrador�s view
that the federal government has a constitutional obligation to provide a
continuous service in accordance with traffic offering and that Marine
Atlantic must provide a high-quality and affordable service," said Minister
Marshall. Premiers also agreed that the federal government must commit to
meeting this standard.
Minister Marshall said he informed the council of the plans for the 29th
Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers which will
be held in St. John�s on August 28 and 29, 2005. Minister Marshall noted.
Premier Williams will host the Conference and co-chair with Governor Donald
Carcieri of Rhode Island. The NEG-ECP is a Conference of the premiers of
Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island
and Quebec, and the governors of Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New
Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The council released its Atlantic action plan which focuses on cooperative
initiatives to improve the economy and public services in the region. As
well, the council is seeking a renewed economic development partnership with
the federal government.
The council discussed their continuing concern with the fiscal imbalance in
Canada and the changes to the equalization program which may result from the
recommendations of the federal expert panel which is charged with making
recommendations on the future structure of the Equalization program. The
council reiterated its view that the equalization program must be
strengthened and that the formula would be improved through inclusion of a
10-province standard and comprehensive revenue coverage.
"I was honoured to represent Premier Williams at this meeting and pleased
with the support of the Council of Atlantic Premiers for the issues which
are important to our province," Minister Marshall said.
Photo #1: Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Tom Marshall (far right)
represented Premier Danny Williams at the Council of Atlantic Premiers
meeting this week. Also pictured are (L-R) Premier Pat Binns, Prince Edward
Island; Premier John Hamm, Nova Scotia; and, Premier Bernard Lord, New
Media contact: Billy Hickey, Communications, (709) 729-6985; 685-7037
2005 06 15