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No response yet on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Atlantic Accord review request

Premier Dwight Ball takes questions from reporters outside the House of Assembly Tuesday afternoon.
Premier Dwight Ball - Ashley Fitzpatrick

Premier says he’s not concerned and will follow up with PMO

Premier Dwight Ball said he will follow up with the prime minister’s office (PMO) before the end of the week on his request to start talks on a review of the 2005 Atlantic Accord agreement.

The premier sent a letter to the PMO on Feb. 13, noting the agreement has to be reviewed before March 31, 2019 and asking to meet to talk about next steps.

The letter states the review will address whether the Accord objectives have been achieved (including that the province remain the primary beneficiary of offshore resources), if the province has seen lasting economic gains, equalization arrangements, fiscal differences between Newfoundland and Labrador and other provinces, and undeveloped reserves.

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The provincial NDP continues to ask about any preparations for the review and the Ball government’s planned approach to related talks.

In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Ball was asked if he had received any response to his letter.

“We’re still waiting to hear back from the prime minister on this,” he told reporters after question period.

He noted it is federal budget week and there is a lot of immediate demands at the federal level.

At the same time, the premier said he is eager for a meeting and a chance to work on the issue.

“We’re ready to get at that table,” he said.

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