Tories finished in Atlantic Canada:
[PoliticsWatch updated 2:40 p.m. June 6, 2007]
Liberals confidently predicted electoral doom for the Conservatives
in Atlantic Canada Wednesday less than 24 hours after a Nova Scotia
MP Bill Casey broke ranks and voted against his party's
Despite the government's assurances that an offshore resources deal
with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland was protected in the budget
implementation bill, Casey voted against the bill because he said
the new equalization formula effectively killed the Atlantic
Casey was kicked out of the Tory caucus minutes after his dramatic
Nay vote against the government on a confidence matter on Tuesday
"It's going to be a total wipe out of the Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador for sure and as this gains momentum into the next federal election, it could mean almost a total wipe
out for the party on this one issue alone," Liberal Senator George
Baker told reporters after the Liberal caucus meeting on
"Every other political party is going to say is 'Look, you are removing hundreds of millions of dollars from each treasury. You are removing money from education, money from health care and so on.' What is your answer to
that? There is no answer. You'd be running behind in an election in Atlantic Canada."
Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison said the controversy
surrounding Casey's departure will raise questions about just how
much Prime Minister Stephen Harper cares about Atlantic
Canada and how effective the cabinet ministers from the region
"The Conservatives will lose seats in the next election in
Atlantic Canada as a result of this government's treatment of a
Atlantic Canada and failure to articulate a clear vision for the
region and an understanding of the region," he said.
Brison, a former Progressive Conservative leadership candidate who
left his party to join the Liberals in 2003, said he believes that
Casey could win his traditionally Conservative Nova Scotia riding in
the next election if he chooses to do so as a Liberal.
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, the only cabinet
minister from Nova Scotia, dodged reporters after leaving the
Conservative caucus on Wednesday.
But Newfoundland cabinet minister Loyola Hearn told reporters
the Liberals would be unwise to predict Tory losses in the region in
the next election.
Hearn said in 2005 election Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams
also accused Tory MPs of going against his province on a budget vote
and the party went on to pick up seats in the following
"What people have to recognize is that some of us look at where
we are, what we're doing and doing the thing that is right for our
provinces in the long-term," he said.
"When election time comes people can judge. If they don't like
what I do they won't vote for me. If they do and I'm around then
they'll vote for me."
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