Mr. Speaker, over the past number of months Atlantic Canada's provincial governments have pressed the federal government for a reduction or an outright elimination of federal clawbacks under the equalization program.
During the St. John's West byelection, the finance minister speculated out loud about reducing the equalization clawback, but he retreated into bafflegab as soon at the plane hit the runway in Ottawa.
During the last election Liberal candidates in Newfoundland were all in favour of doing something about the clawback, but now that the Liberals, including the industry minister, are back in government, their ardour for the cause has cooled considerably.
We support a reduction in the equalization clawback. We call upon the government to stop playing politics with this issue and actually make some changes that would allow Atlantic Canadians to become equal partners in this federation.