The premier says Nova Scotia won’t be losing money from the Atlantic Accord. You’ll just have to trust him.

Equalization payments to the province are down $75 million this year, but Premier Rodney MacDonald said the feds will make that up with a “transitional payment.”

There’s no written agreement for this payment. Nor was it mentioned in the recent federal budget. But MacDonald said he had the prime minister’s word Bluenosers will get the money back.
“I spoke directly to the prime minister himself about this issue,” said MacDonald.

He said the two levels of government were working out the details of the agreement and would provide documentation “later this week.”

That didn’t temper the opposition’s scorn.

“I know if I was the federal auditor general, and I was being told by premiers of the provinces that the budget that was being brought down was in fact not the budget, that would be pretty much an indictment of the whole process,” said NDP Leader Darrell Dexter.

When questioned by Independent MP Bill Casey, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty admitted the $75 million payment was only guaranteed for this year.