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January 17, 2006
(Executive Council)

Premier receives letter from Martin outlining position on provincial issues

Premier Danny Williams today released the response from Liberal Leader Paul Martin, which was received late yesterday evening. The letter responds to Premier Williams� letter of November 28, 2005, which requested policy positions of the Conservative, Liberal and NDP federal leaders in the context of the federal election. The questions concentrated specifically on issues of importance to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I am pleased that we are now in receipt of responses from all three federal party leaders," said Premier Williams. "The Conservative and NDP responses were very encouraging on several fronts, including support for a loan guarantee for the development of the lower Churchill, support for the reinstatement of the Gander weather office and support for a cost-shared agreement on the completion of the Trans Labrador Highway, among other issues. The responses from Mr. Martin are clearly not as definitive as some of those from Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton. This is disappointing from the provincial government�s perspective; however, the most important thing is that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now know the positions of the three parties. I encourage everyone to seriously consider the information contained in these letters as we head into Election Day."

Note that Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan responded separately to two of the proposed questions on behalf of the Prime Minister.

"From our government�s perspective, a strong federal government with clear commitments to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is certainly the preferred outcome of this election," added Premier Williams. "As we head into Election Day, I urge the people of this province to carefully consider the positions of all parties, and most importantly, I urge everyone to exercise your democratic right by voting on January 23."

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960 or (709) 690-5500, or

2006 01 17                        1:20 p.m.

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