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Working with provinces on agenda as Trudeau meets Ball on Parliament Hill

OTTAWA — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball says it’s time for his fellow provincial leaders to put their focus back on Canadians instead of internal, domestic squabbles.

He is downplaying any talk about revising the equalization formula, which distributes federal money to help cash-strapped provinces deliver services and which western premiers have raised in their grievances with Justin Trudeau’s government in Ottawa.

Premiers are set to meet next week in Toronto, and Ball says he’ll talk about ways to help provinces whose economies depend on natural resources cope with downturns, among other measures to keep provincial finances sustainable.

Ball, a Liberal, says he won’t go into the meeting wearing any political stripe.

Ball met Trudeau on Parliament Hill this morning in the latest in a series of sit-downs the prime minister has had with provincial premiers since last month’s federal election.

The prime minister said the two would talk about pharmacare, which Trudeau called “always interesting to Dwight” — prompting a smile from Ball, who has pressed the issue in premiers’ meetings — and how to work with other provinces “to ensure things are going well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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