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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tory MP to Vote Against His Own Party over Equalization

Hi all,

I'm still travelling in parts of Canada (NB this week) but I noticed this article in the Halifax Chronicle Herald this morning and thought it might interest you all.

Too bad our Newfoundland and Labrador MPs don't have the same sense of morality.

I'll be back next week, until then keep your keel in the water,

Myles


OTTAWA — Tory MP Bill Casey says he will vote against his own government’s budget legislation this evening unless the Conservatives unexpectedly reverse themselves and reinstate the offshore accord between Nova Scotia and Ottawa.

Mr. Casey’s vote is expected to result in his ejection from the Tory caucus, which means he will have to sit as an Independent.

"I’m convinced that the budget amends the offshore revenue agreement that is detrimental to the province," said the MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. "This is a signed contract between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada, and it should not be amended by one side. And I hope this error will be corrected."

Mr. Casey said he has worked behind the scenes since the budget came down in March to try to persuade Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to honour the accord.

"I’d like you to write this down," he said. "We’ve met with Mr. Flaherty several times. We met with the prime minister several times. We’ve raised it in caucus. We got a legal opinion. We’ve made several proposals. We’ve tried to build bridges between the federal government and the provincial government. And we haven’t made any progress. So it doesn’t leave me a lot of choice."

Mr. Casey was to meet with Mr. Flaherty on Monday evening, but it would be surprising if the minister was to change his position now.

The Tory governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have both complained that Mr. Harper has broken the offshore accords and repeated, explicit promises to allow the provinces to enjoy 100 per cent of offshore revenue without an equalization clawback. Independent analysts have estimated that will cost each province about $1 billion.

The Tories point out that, accord or no accord, the province gets more money this year than last.

In spite of that, Tory MPs from the two provinces have been under pressure, in particular from Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, to defy their own government and vote against the budget.

That defiance is likely to come at a cost for Mr. Casey if he votes against the implementation bill, which must pass to set the federal budget into motion.

The few precedents of MPs voting against their party on a budget all end with the MP’s expulsion from caucus.

Mr. Casey said he doesn’t feel he has any choice.

"This has been a very emotional, trying decision to make. But I went to the Parrsboro legion on Saturday night to (provincial attorney general) Murray Scott’s lobster dinner. I think I’ve gone to 12 of these consecutively and I’ve always spoken. And I felt so uncomfortable that I said to my wife, I hope they don’t ask me to speak. On the way home, I thought to myself, I don’t want to spend the rest of my career not being able to look people in the eye or speak to my people."

Mr. Casey’s move is likely to increase the pressure on other Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Tories, who risk looking like they are meekly betraying their constituents while Mr. Casey stands up for his.

Nova Scotia’s representative in the federal cabinet, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, was travelling Monday and unavailable for comment, but his communications director said he would not comment until after the vote.

"I don’t talk on hypotheticals," he said. "The vote will come and we’ll see what happens."
South Shore-St. Margarets MP Gerald Keddy said he understands why Mr. Casey is doing what he’s doing, although he will vote for the budget himself and stay in caucus.

"I fully respect his decision," he said. "I’m going to take the position that I’ve taken up to this point. I’m going to continue to work with the minister to try to have it changed."

Mr. Keddy said he believes the cap on offshore revenue must be removed if the budget is to respect the offshore accord negotiated by former premier John Hamm.

"This has to be fixed. If it’s not fixed in this budget, it has to be fixed in the next budget."
Mr. Keddy said he hopes Mr. Casey isn’t kicked out of the party, but the precedents aren’t good.
"They all ended up not being in the party," he acknowledged.

In question period Monday, Halifax West MP Geoff Regan, who helped signed the offshore accord for the previous government, used Mr. Casey’s comments to attack Mr. Harper.

""With his own members turning against him, will he end his betrayal of Atlantic Canada and honour the accord?" asked Mr. Regan.

Mr. Flaherty said Mr. Regan wants Nova Scotia to have less money.

""If the government listened to the member opposite, the people of Nova Scotia would receive $95 million less this year than they are going to receive under the O’Brien formula," he said.
The Tories frame the debate as if critics want to return to the older, less generous equalization system, while critics say the accord guarantees offshore revenue and the more generous equalization program.

Mr. Casey said he could still vote for the budget if the government signals it will respect the offshore accord.

"It’s very simple to correct, and I don’t need an amendment to the legislation. I need a signal from the federal government that they will take the steps to restore the benefits of the Atlantic accord in the same way that John Hamm negotiated them for about five years."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Artfull dodger said....

At least ONE conservative from Atlantic Canada is willing to side with his constituents, kudos to him.

Our conservatives here obviously have their own agenda.

Hearn has been a total and utter disappointment on all fronts. Manning has gotten a taste of the sweet Ottawa nectar and crossed over to the dark side. As for Norm Doyle, well that one I can't figure out, especially since he doesn't intend to run again, so why not side with his home province? If Bill Casey and Norm Doyle broke ranks, it would send a much more compelling message to Harper.

Anonymous said...

"Too bad our Newfoundland and Labrador MPs don't have the same sense of morality"

Actually, four of them do. Byrne, Matthews, Russell and Simms.

Anonymous said...

Spare me from politicians with overblown sense of "morals".

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

I'm not so sure if a sense of morals has anything to do with the reason politicians do anything. I believe politicians (generally) do things that serve themselves best in the long run. They balance the desires of their constituents against the agenda of the party of which they are a part of. A successful politician is practiced at being vague and knows how to manage potentially bad publicity. Politics is their career, they do things to advance themselves and/or increase their pay and benefits, which fair to say is no different than the average career person.

Hearn and Manning are likely gambling that they can garner enough support to win their seats in the next election. It will be interesting to see if they can pull it off.

Glenn said...

Only winners here are the 4 Liberal members, 3 if you ignore Bill Matthews (easy task that one).

But not to worry, the fortunes of NL will turn around as soon as 'Big Oil' gets a load of the new NL energy policy and begins clamouring for development permits.

Anonymous said...

Great As Always Patriot :

Anonymous said...

"Too bad our Newfoundland and Labrador MPs don't have the same sense of morality"

Actually, four of them do. Byrne, Matthews, Russell and Simms.

June 05, 2007 11:38 AM

This is like saying Hilter had moral's ,and he was a good person.To bad that he had to kill six million people.
Paul Martin was a great Prime Minister.To bad we had to rip the flag off the pole to get the same treatment as anyother province in Confederation.
As far as I'm comcerned Newfoundlander's and Labradorian's get what they deserve.They put thease people in power,and they shouldn't expect anything differant. You want change ,vote for it .
Newfoundland and Labrador needs a party for the province ,that will look after it.And ,until that day come's. There are two things we have to worry about .Missionary or Doggie ,because either way your going to get it in the"END'.Pardon the Pun .
Conservative or Liberial ,either evil is just as bad for the province .Sell the two percent.It's damb useless anyway.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, nothing like a totally inappropriate comparison to undermine your point.

Finish it off with vulgarity just to make sure.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Why Thank you .Thank you, very much.
It must be all this clean ,crisp ,cool Ontario air making the "Pure Newfoundlander "in me Giddy as a school school girl.
Pardon the vulgarity.That must be all the time I've spent away from home.God know's I wouldn't dream of such language back home,or I would be pulled up over the harbour hill by the ear, by anybody that heard me.
Too bad those days ,along with the communitie's that gave birth to such values are dieing.Maybe my beliefs and morals should just die with them ,and I can adopt the values I hear in Ontario.
Then again I doubt that Patriot would allow the post to be read .

Anonymous said...

Would comparing them to say George Bush be better ,OK, lets use that.

WJM said...

But not to worry, the fortunes of NL will turn around as soon as 'Big Oil' gets a load of the new NL energy policy and begins clamouring for development permits.

They'll be clamouring for development permits, alright.

In Louisiana, Venezuela, and the South China Sea.

WJM said...

To bad we had to rip the flag off the pole to get the same treatment as anyother province in Confederation.

No, "we" "had to rip the flag off the pole" to get BETTER treatment than any other province in Confederation.

Starrigan said...

Yet another anonymous a$$hole that posts here just to insult NL's. Still don't know why they even bother to read this blog.

I agree with Artful Dodger, the politician has to walk that fine line between doing what's right for the party and what's right for the constituents. The current scenario seems pretty cut and dried. I would be willing to bet that any Conservative MP from NL that supports the budget will not be re-elected next time.

Anonymous said...

WJM said...

But not to worry, the fortunes of NL will turn around as soon as 'Big Oil' gets a load of the new NL energy policy and begins clamouring for development permits.

They'll be clamouring for development permits, alright.

In Louisiana, Venezuela, and the South China Sea.

June 05, 2007 11:17 PM
WJM said...

To bad we had to rip the flag off the pole to get the same treatment as anyother province in Confederation.

No, "we" "had to rip the flag off the pole" to get BETTER treatment than any other province in Confederation.

June 05, 2007 11:18 PM

What kind of idiot are you buddy ,or are you just some kind of mis-informed FUCKTARD from Alberta ???

Newfoundland and labrador ,getting better treatment then another part of canada .You boy's that were lucky enough to be able to stay home got to get your heads outta your ass .
Everybody knows how that part of canada is constantly fucked over by the rest of your family.God ,talk about self-mutalation.Get a life Idiot .

Starrigan said...

Anonymous don't buy into WJM's crap. He works for the feds and is paid to come on this blog and piss people of. Yes sir, he is being paid by your tax dollar. The stuff he posts if pure tripe, so don't buy into it. Anyone that reads this blog know WJM or Ottawally or Wallace J. MacLean. We all know he's game. Just know one thing, he's a huge a$$hole. Ignore him, he's not worth responding to, it only plays into his little game.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning.Why would someone with such issues come to a Blog such as this .Definate personality problems if you ask me .If you don't like what people say ,hey ,its a free internet .Don't be an Idiot and continue to come back for an arguement .It just makes you look challenged.

Anonymous said...

WJM said
QUOTE "No, "we" "had to rip the flag off the pole" to get BETTER treatment than any other province in Confederation." UNQUOTE

If the above statement is attributable to you WJM, I will say this -You didn't mind that the other provinces were and still are ahead of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for 58 years now, AND I MEAN LIGHT YEARS, aided and abetted in that department with the resources of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. So why is it a CAPITAL SIN, should the province of Newfoundland and Labrador overtake and gain an EDGE in that Department, over the others provinces at this point in time?

Why are you so dead set about the province of Newfoundland and Labrador getting ahead of the other provinces economically, given the resources that are exported out of here for the benefit of the other provinces? Are you not thinking straight?

WJM is it possible for me to ask you to prognosticate and give me a time frame when this phenomenon could happen. I want to celebrate a little early.

Anonymous said...

"...to get the same treatment as any other province..."

NO other province has ever had as sweet a deal on Equalization , or on the treatement of its resources under Equalization as Newfoundland and Labrador. The others would kill for it.

What we choose to do with that is entirely of our own doing. We choose to by all of our consumer goods from outside the province, we choose to prop up inefficient industries while the rest of the world passes us by. We choose to pave the most roads per capita in the North America with little return on investment. We choose to employ 5 times as many people in our fishery as it can handle. We choose to spend all of our money on aging baby boomers while our best and brightest young and most educated are sent packing. We choose to invest all of our public pension money in the economies of other jurisdictions. These are choices we make every day as residents, consumers, voters, and taxpayers.

We can sit back and blame someone else about it. Or we can cheer on a nonsensical Premier who travels the country in search of self confidence. Or we can change things. Ourselves. But blaimng others is always easier.

Anonymous said...

WJM YOU SAY: Quote NO other province has ever had as sweet a deal on Equalization , or on the treatement of its resources under Equalization as Newfoundland and Labrador. The others would kill for it. Unquote

I will ask the question: is the reason because we BRAINLESSLY let our resources be exported to the other provinces for benefit of their economies, AND OF COURSE WE HAD TO GET SOMETHING IN RETURN TO EXIST ON, AND SINCE EQUILIZATION IS THE ONLY OTHER PAYMENT IN LIEU OF ALLOWING RESOURCES TO BE EXPORTED/SHIPPED TO THE OTHER PRIOVINCES TO GIVE THEM REAL ECONOMIES, THE ALTERNATIVE WAS THAT WE HAD TO ACCEPT EQUILIZATION? As we know secondary and further processing of a province's resources are where the economies are created. A province does not create vibrant economies by digging resources out of the ground and exporting them.

I do not blame Premier Williams for what went on in the past in that regard. I cannot think of one resource so far that he approved to be exported for secondary and further processing. Although I have some concern over the Lower Churchill Hydroelectic Energy and his silence over the Fishery.


Matter of fact Premier Williams,like the Premier of Alberta, is trying to get a better deal out of our resources. He is actually trying to get a 5% per cent equity stake from our Oil.

Also the Premiers of the past were not the only ones to blame completely, since the pressures coming out of the rest of Canada by lobbyists to see our Hydroelectric Energy, Minerals and Oil arrive on their doorsteps were astronomical.

WJM you keepblaming Premier Williams, but you fail to mention the Premeirs of the past who allowed the resources to be shipped out. WHY?

WJM said...

Newfoundland and labrador ,getting better treatment then another part of canada

Yip.

Danny Williams and company kept lying and saying the Atlantic Accord 2 was about getting what everyone else in Canada gets.

No, it was not.

It was about getting more than what everyone else gets.

It was about getting something that other provinces do not.

Danny Williams is a liar.

WJM said...

and is paid to come on this blog and piss people of.

No, he isn't.

If that's the effect, though, hooray! I'm doing something right if people like you aren't happy.

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

In response to poster #17.

"What we choose to do with that is entirely of our own doing. We choose to by all of our consumer goods from outside the province,"

Who really can claim that they purchase all their products from the province which they reside in? I would submit not very many or in fact none at all. I purchase locally made when it is available or of a sufficient quality that I prefer to purchase that product. To be honest, the majority of locally produced products I purchase are of quite good quality (ie. produce, baked goods, prepared foods, books, clothing, music etc.)and I will continue to support locally grown/produced when I can.

"we choose to prop up inefficient industries while the rest of the world passes us by."

Do you have any specific examples?
Industries are propped up in many areas of Canada, Bombardier, the auto sector are a couple examples.

"We choose to pave the most roads per capita in the North America with little return on investment."

We have a very large landmass in this province. Compare that to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island for example.

"We choose to employ 5 times as many people in our fishery as it can handle."

I would agree with you to the extent that we need to rationalize the fishery based on the availability and health of fish stocks. Unfortunately, we have to compete with countries that can provide a cheaper product to market, so we need to think of ways to compete without destroying the essence of the industry here. That could mean less plants, less people and more automation.

"We choose to spend all of our money on aging baby boomers while our best and brightest young and most educated are sent packing."

Again, some examples?

"We choose to invest all of our public pension money in the economies of other jurisdictions."

We should invest in that which gets us the best return, it benefits us as a whole in the end after all.

"These are choices we make every day as residents, consumers, voters, and taxpayers."

We will have to make some hard choices if we are to succeed. All of rural Newfoundland & Labrador will not continue to exist, that is just a cold hard fact. Some communities will die off as the young people opt to live in larger areas wih better opportunities.

You make some points that I disagree with, however you also make some points that many of us have already identified with and have accepted.

Interesting times lie ahead for this province and its people, I hope we are up to the challenge.

WJM said...

If the above statement is attributable to you WJM, I will say this -You didn't mind that the other provinces were and still are ahead of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for 58 years now, AND I MEAN LIGHT YEARS

Good for those other provinces for spending wisely and developing diversified economies.

NL has made bad choices over the years. That's no one else's fault. If NL, for example, had started spending a million dollars a year on a Trans-Labrador Highway in 1950, it would have been completed almost thirty years ago.

NL chose not to.

No one else's fault but our own.

aided and abetted in that department with the resources of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Which other provinces would those be?

Bear in mind that NL's natural resources, as significant as they are, are a drop in the bucket on the national scale. They could hardly be what is keeping the other nine provinces going, let alone getting ahead of poor downtrodden NL.

So why is it a CAPITAL SIN, should the province of Newfoundland and Labrador overtake and gain an EDGE in that Department, over the others provinces at this point in time?

It isn't. NL should knock itself out. Overtake all the other provinces. It can be done.

But it's a Great Big Lie to say that the road to "self-sufficiency" and "autonomy" and whatever other buzzword Danny and The Separatists throw around these days, is by way of increased transfer payments from the rest of Canada and federal government pork-barreling.

Why are you so dead set about the province of Newfoundland and Labrador getting ahead of the other provinces economically

I am dead-set FOR that!

given the resources that are exported out of here for the benefit of the other provinces?

Which resources?

Which provinces?

WJM is it possible for me to ask you to prognosticate and give me a time frame when this phenomenon could happen. I want to celebrate a little early.

It will happen some time after people get their head around the idea that self-sufficiency does not come at the end of a federal transfer payment or other government spending.

WJM said...

WJM YOU SAY: Quote NO other province has ever had as sweet a deal on Equalization , or on the treatement of its resources under Equalization as Newfoundland and Labrador. The others would kill for it. Unquote

No, WJM did not say that.

WJM you keepblaming Premier Williams, but you fail to mention the Premeirs of the past who allowed the resources to be shipped out. WHY?

I blame Premier Williams for Premier Williams' failings.

That's how I'm different from Premier Williams and his merry band of separatists, who constantly blame others for our own failings.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Caps lock loving anon wrote:

"Matter of fact Premier Williams,like the Premier of Alberta, is trying to get a better deal out of our resources. He is actually trying to get a 5% per cent equity stake from our Oil."

Actually that isn't correct on either count.

Newfoundland and Labrador's royalty regime already produces better returns per barrel equivalent than the tar sands regime.

On the second point, the Premier will likely be looking for 10% in the energy plan.

i wonder why he is setting his sights so low. The energy company could get more than that by doing the leg work and finding the oil. With great risk would come greater reward.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Oops.

Caps lock went even farther into fantasyland:

"Also the Premiers of the past were not the only ones to blame completely, since the pressures coming out of the rest of Canada by lobbyists to see our Hydroelectric Energy, Minerals and Oil arrive on their doorsteps were astronomical."

That's just sheer bunkum.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a fettish with the Caps Lock BEING on Sir? Such a trivial things annoy you Sir, when there are so many more profound matters concerning the Federal Government's treatment of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ed Hollett said...

Well, Caps Lock is merely a way to distinguish one from other anon posters.

If the individual were courteous enough to use a name or some other identifier, then that might be different.

Anonymous said...

June 06, 2007 10:51 AM,anon,

Sorry My freind ,but it would seem that you went to a differant school then I did .Your entitled to your stance .As strange as it does sound .Im sorry I find it very hard to share your personal point of view .

Ed Hollett said...

"Im sorry I find it very hard to share your personal point of view."

You find it hard to share the view that people should disclose their identity in a conversation?

You went to a very different school from the one most people I know attended.

Anonymous said...

Danny Williams and company kept lying and saying the Atlantic Accord 2 was about getting what everyone else in Canada gets.

No, it was not.

It was about getting more than what everyone else gets.

Newfoundland get s more then Ontario.What the hell am I doing here .Time to move home Guys .WHEEEWWWWW WHOOOOOOOO,right on .Outta this fuckin Shitty sweeeeaaaattHole called onatrio.Back to Beautful ,Newfoundland and Labrador .Gee,I hope I can get a JOB when I get Home ,B'ye,and a Jug O'Screech and some CodFish!!!!!

What the Fuck is wrong with you Buddy .Are you Fuckin Stoned all the time up in Labrador or what .Or ,did your Mom drop you on your head to many Fuck'in times GOOOF !!!!

Read this Slow and carefully Fuckhead. """"GET A LIFE """""

Fuckin Idiot !!!

WJM said...

What the Fuck is wrong with you Buddy .Are you Fuckin Stoned all the time up in Labrador or what .Or ,did your Mom drop you on your head to many Fuck'in times GOOOF !!!!

Read this Slow and carefully Fuckhead. """"GET A LIFE """""

Fuckin Idiot !!!


Thank you for the sage advice!

Anonymous said...

Your more then welcome

WJM said...

"Your" is a possessive, not a contraction.

Anonymous said...

WJM said...

"Your" is a possessive, not a contraction.

<\\YOUR\\ AN \\IDOIT\\> <\\not tOO\\SwIFT\\>

Take the HINT Dude,I will chew that MAC-UP and spit it out!!!