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Atlantic Accord deadline 10 days away

Premier Dwight Ball speaks to reporters Wednesday outside the House of Assembly.
Premier Dwight Ball speaks to reporters Wednesday outside the House of Assembly. - David Maher

Premier says he expects a deal, but door is open for extension

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Premier Dwight Ball says the March 31 deadline for Atlantic Accord negotiations still stands, but left the door open just a crack for an extension.

Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie asked Ball in question period Wednesday whether the negotiations had reached an impasse that could threaten the March 31 deadline for talks.

Ball says the two sides are still at the table, so talks have not broken down, but he did acknowledge a slower pace.

“That’s our goal. We’re working towards that. We’ve both made the commitment that would be the deadline,” said Ball.

“If we’re not going to make that deadline, I will update the people of the province. I have no reason today to believe that we cannot reach a deal by March 31.”

The negotiations have 10 days to wrap up.

Ball was pressed on just how much money is at stake, but declined to be specific as the negotiations continue.

While there was no specific line in the 2019 federal budget for a potential cash settlement of the Atlantic Accord negotiations, Ball says he wasn’t expecting to see it in the budget document, so he’s not concerned.

Ball says the dates of the provincial budget and upcoming election are still to be set.

david.maher@thetelegram.com

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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