Executive Council
July 25, 2007

Premier Reminds Minister MacKay of Equalization Promise by Harper Government

The Federal Government should not forget that it was they who promised Canadians that non-renewable resource revenues would be removed from the equalization formula. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, said today that he was very disappointed to hear Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay comment in Nova Scotia this week that people were too fixated on the current dispute between some provinces and the Federal Government.

"I would remind Minister MacKay that it was his leader, Prime Minister Harper, and he and other Atlantic Canadian Conservatives who promised the people of Canada that non-renewable resource revenues would be removed from the equalization formula," said Premier Williams. "After they won our votes, the federal Conservatives decided that their promise was meaningless. They completely reneged on that commitment which they made repeatedly in writing and verbally, and they went further and made unilateral changes to the Atlantic Accords."

Premier Williams says these decisions by the Federal Government will cost provinces like his and Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan billions of dollars. He added that he hopes Canadians are not fooled by the Federal Government�s strategy to move focus away from their broken promises.

"While there may be differing opinions on the issue, there can be no dispute that the Federal Government has betrayed our people and broken their promise," added the Premier. "Indeed, senior Cabinet ministers have admitted this publicly. Furthermore, I take great offense to Minister Mackay�s complaining that people are being too negative. It is estimated by third party independent economists that our province alone could be negatively impacted to the tune of $11 billion. I can tell Minister Mackay that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will make no apologies for being negative towards a Federal Government that treats them with such disdain."

Premier Williams once again reminded people to be wary of promises made by the Harper Government. He hopes that other Canadians will learn from past mistakes of trusting federal Conservative election commitments.


Media contact:
Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227

2007 07 25                                             11:45 a.m.


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