Mr. Speaker, a better equalization deal continues to be of major importance to provinces that are trying to catch up to the more affluent areas of our country.
Atlantic Canada has great potential for resource development but unfortunately will never realize that potential unless there is a better equalization deal.
Within the next few days the house of assembly in Newfoundland and Labrador will ratify the Voisey's Bay statement of principles. There is even rumour that a Lower Churchill deal is near.
However, in the case of provincial revenues from these projects, the lion's share will be clawed back by Ottawa through reductions in our equalization payments.
If a province like Newfoundland and Labrador is ever to get its financial house in order, it is essential that the federal government reduce or eliminate the equalization clawback.