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P.E.I. totals cost of Conservative win [CA-PE]

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Author: 
CBC News, Prince Edward Island
Publication Date: 
25 Jan 2006
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EXCERPTS

The government of P.E.I. is trying to figure out what the change in the federal government will mean to close to $100 million in spending Paul Martin's Liberals pledged to the province.

Liberals promised the money to P.E.I. in the days leading up to the election call. There was money for everything from the Wellness Centre in Summerside, to a new underwater power cable to New Brunswick.

With Stephen Harper's Conservative minority government in power some of the spending is in jeopardy. Especially with the four Liberal MPs from the province now looking at the government from the opposition side of Parliament.

Most of the $20-million child-care agreement signed just days before the election call is also in jeopardy.

"I'm not exactly sure of what approval was given by the federal government, with treasury board and all the i's being dotted and t's being crossed. It will be interesting now, to see what exactly is committed, what's negotiable, what's not negotiable," said Premier Pat Binns.

The Conservatives said they would honour the first year of the agreement. The test of the five-year deal might change to fall in line with the party's election promise to give child-care money to parents, not to the provinces.

Harper said he wants to address the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa, with its big surpluses, and the provinces, many of which are running deficits. Binns said while those negotiations begin he'll be pressuring the new government to honour the financial commitments made by the Liberals.

- reprinted from CBC News, Prince Edward Island

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Entered Date: 
27 Jan 2006
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