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Premier Dwight Balls says rate mitigation was the top priority when he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Tuesday.

In remarks before the meeting, Trudeau repeated his election promise that “the federal government will be there to support Newfoundlanders through the challenges of rate mitigation.”

Ball told reporters afterward that the two sides are making progress. He hopes to have a “bundle” of options to present to the public in late January when the Public Utilities Board finishes its report on rate mitigation.

Ball was also asked if he favoured changing the equalization formula as other provinces have demanded. But Ball described equalization as “the wrong target,” instead favouring a new program to assist oil-exporting provinces like Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador with their fiscal problems.

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