Reject federal budget: Liberal MPs
The Daily News
Nova Scotia's six Liberal MPs say the province got shafted by Ottawa in last week's federal budget - and they won't stand for it.
They want people to contact their Conservative MPs and ask them to demand Prime Minister Stephen Harper honour the intent of the Atlantic offshore accord - and vote against the federal budget.
"Why did other provinces get up to $3 billion extra and we got cut?" asked Mike Savage, MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.
"That's the unfairness right now that we're sitting with and that's what we're fighting. And we ask all those MPs from Nova Scotia to stand up and refuse this budget."
In a 2005 deal with the then Liberal government, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to end the practice of clawing back equalization money from offshore gas and oil revenues.
But last week's federal budget gave both provinces the option to choose a new, fatter, equalization formula, or the offshore accord, which would allow Nova Scotia to keep 100 per cent of royalties.
Giving up the accord would mean $145 million over the next five years for the province.
Nova Scotia Liberal MPs suggested the federal budget was aimed at voters in large urban centres, such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
"It's time for Mr. Harper and Mr. MacKay to be honest," said Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West.
"It's time for them to explain why they're prepared to shower provinces like Quebec, Ontario and Alberta with billions while they're tearing up a written agreement with Nova Scotia."
Robert Thibault, MP for West Nova, said Harper's ultimatum is complete hypocrisy.
"It's giving Nova Scotians a poison pill," he said.
Scott Brison, who represents the Kings-Hants riding, said the Conservative government will eventually pay a political price for the budget.
"The killing of the Atlantic Accords is building a permanent welfare wall around Atlantic Canada," Brison said.
"We can't let him get away with it ... Stephen Harper is absolutely kicking us in the teeth just as we're getting on our own two feet."