30 January 2005

Paul Martin fixes the Accord, yet again

In the midst of all the Accord spin out there over the past year, it is easy to forget a few simple points:

1. When the provincial government approached John Crosbie on this Accord offset issue in 1990, it was told, in so many words, to "get stuffed". See Paul Wells blog from a couple of days ago for that story. Wells points out, quite rightly, that if any Paul Martin cabinet minister reacted the way Crosbie did, that minister would be on the backbenches so fast it would be unbelievable. It's a bit of a backhanded compliment, Paul, but coming from such an ardent Martin critic, I am sure the PMO would take it!

2. This is the SECOND time Paul Martin has enhanced Equalization offsets in the Atlantic Accord. He did it in 1993/94 and now that he has more cash available, he has delivered on his commitment yet again.

3. The PM has also committed to help the provincial government with other economic development projects, like the Lower Churchill. Go back to last April and you'll see that in local media clippings. All he is waiting on is a contact from the provincial government. He has been waiting for some contact since this time last year. That length of delay on that file is inexplicable. Sheesh, if any Newfoundland and Labrador government in the past had had the PM's personal commitment like that, they surely would not have let it sit untouched this long.

Maybe Bill Rowe could find some time in his cramped schedule and see if he can move that file along.