The Premier says they are still working with the Prime Minister and the Federal Government to reach their goal of wrapping up Atlantic Accord negotiations by March 31st.
Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie first raised questions in the House of Assembly yesterday surrounding the Accord and meeting the March 31st deadline.
Premier Dwight Ball says negotiations are ongoing with officials in constant contact by the hour, but they are taking their time working through negotiations.
He says he understands that people are anxious to get a deal done, but being too anxious at the table would not be in the best interest of the province as the goal is to get the best deal possible.
The March 31st deadline is just ten days away, and Ball says nothing has changed in reaching that date. As we get closer to the date, Ball says if he feels a they cannot reach a deal, he will update the people.
He says Justin Trudeau has made a commitment and he has no reason to believe they won’t reach a deal by March 31st. Ball reiterates that he will make sure they leave no stone unturned.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie says it sounds more and more like that they will miss the March 31st deadline.
Crosbie says it’s a self-imposed deadline for political purposes. He says the federal Liberals are enabling Premier Ball to call a spring election and go to the public with money in his hands.
Crosbie says that may not be happening now because the federal Liberals have much bigger problems taking their attention away from the Atlantic Accord review.
He says we should be going back as far as 2012/2013 because, in his view, hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in every one of those years.
Crosbie says those payments are, as of right now, under the Accord. They’re not going cap-in-hand asking for money; these payments are ours as of principal beneficiary.