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Atlantic region must get along: Premier

Premier Darrell Dexter used his second “state of the province” address to reiterate his message of regional co-operation.

Premier Darrell Dexter used his second “state of the province” address to reiterate his message of regional co-operation.

Dexter told a crowd of about 400 at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon yesterday that co-operation is paramount to the success of the region of about 2.3 million.

“Our four provinces succeed when we view each other as partners rather than competitors,” he said.

“As partners, we can win a greater advantage for all Atlantic Canadians.”

It’s a message the government has been stressing in the wake of brokering a $6-billion power deal between Nova Scotia Power and Newfoundland’s Nalcor last week.

Chamber president Valerie Payn praised the deal, telling Dexter her organization was “with (him) all the way,” before adding they’ll continue to ask the government “the tough questions.”

After his speech, Dexter told reporters he wants to discuss region-wide programs when Atlantic Canada’s four premiers gather in Pictou this weekend.

“I think we just need to keep looking for the opportunities of an aggregated 2.3-million person population,” he said, offering a region-wide venture ­capital fund and a carbon-offset program as ­possibilities.

“(The region is) a much more powerful market than 990,000. So this is where we have to look for our advantages.”

 
 
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