McNeil can’t keep his story straight or his Caucus in order

June 5, 2013

Deputy Premier Frank Corbett says the way Liberal leader Stephen McNeil is managing his caucus should be a concern for Nova Scotians.

“McNeil can’t even keep his story straight at this point. He is willing to say anything to cover up his mistakes including the very opposite of what his own caucus members are saying,” said Corbett.

On Friday, May 31, McNeil told the Cape Breton Post that Liberal MLA Manning MacDonald ‘had the Speaker’s blessing” to take a month long vacation during the spring session of the Legislature. However, just a few weeks ago, on May 7, MacDonald explained that it was McNeil whom he asked permission from to head south, not the Speaker.

“A reporter had to tell McNeil what the rules of the house are around MLAs missing time. It’s McNeil’s job to know those things and ensure his caucus members know the rules and follow them,” said Corbett.

On May 30, the House of Assembly management commission voted to have the legislature lawyer check whether the commission can dock MacDonald’s pay for the roughly 20 days in April he spent on vacation. The move came after MacDonald issued his resignation 24 hours earlier leading to questions about the commission’s jurisdiction.

Rather than wait for the commission’s decision, MacDonald issued a letter Friday, May 31, informing the Speaker he plans to proceed with donations to a couple of charities in hopes of resolving the issue.

“Having MacDonald resign one day early to try and avoid consequences does not scream accountability to Nova Scotians. In fact, it says the exact opposite and that should be very concerning to Nova Scotians,” said Corbett.

“If this how the Liberals act when they are in opposition, just imagine how they would act if they ever formed government.”