In an interview with The Canadian Press, Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert said Sunday that the federal government is negotiating a side deal on the Atlantic Accord - despite claims to the contrary by the finance minister.
"If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it's a duck," said the premier. "They're in negotiations."
Our relationship with the federal government goes well beyond the accord, and it was in Nova Scotians best interests for us to pursue negotiations until now," he said. "Mr. Flaherty has slammed that door shut, and we must now do everything in our power to help everyone understand what he has done."
"Mr. Flaherty has turned his back on Nova Scotians, and our quiet talks are about to get a whole lot louder."
The premier is requesting a hearing before the Senate where the bill must go after third reading if it is passed.
"I will call for every Senator to delay passage of that bill until they've had a chance to understand our position and fully understand the impact of the budget on the Offshore Accord and equalization," said Premier MacDonald. "The province of Nova Scotia will not accept anything less that the signed Atlantic Accord."
The "end of bickering" has clearly passed. Flaherty has moved us to the "era of conflicting signals", wherein you accomplish nothing, but manage to alienate everyone involved because of your duplicity. Quite an achievement, to be criticized for making side deals, and refusing side deals, simultaneously. Kumbaya, Kumbaya.