Stephen McNeil’s fall performance “dysfunctional”

December 18, 2015

Nurses, teachers, doctors, paramedics, social workers, civil servants, and highway workers are among the 75,000 Nova Scotians who had their collective rights stripped away by the Stephen McNeil government as the fall sitting of legislature drew to a close early this morning.

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says the performance of the Liberal government over the past six weeks was “dysfunctional” to say the least.

“This is a government and a Premier that refuse to work with Nova Scotians and instead prefer to use heavy-handed tactics and threats to get their own way,” says MacDonald. “The way the Liberals abused their majority to ram through Bill 148, literally under the cover of darkness, is just one in a series of troubling events that have transpired. They even stooped so low as to block Robert Tupper – a person who needs an interpreter to communicate because of hearing and vision loss – from testifying at the Law Amendments committee earlier this week.”

MacDonald says the McNeil government failed to properly consult on Bill 112 and as a result the legislation unfairly targets low-income families and could result in more children being placed in provincial care. She also doesn’t understand why the government would increase the fine for jaywalking to almost $700.

“You really have to question the judgment of a government that thinks it’s appropriate to fine a person $700 for failing to press the button at a crosswalk,” says MacDonald.

The events leading up to the resignation of Stephen McNeil’s Chief of Staff reveal a problem in the Premier’s Office at the highest level. “The release of private health information by Stephen McNeil’s top advisor was reprehensible,” says MacDonald “We still don’t know why the Premier spent two weeks defending Kirby McVicar given what he said on that now infamous recording.”

MacDonald says in spite of the Liberal government’s tactics, she is pleased with what her NDP Caucus was able to accomplish.

“We were able to hold the government to account and bring attention to issues that matter to the residents of our province. We also introduced strong, practical legislation to bring greater accountability to large government expenditures and to make our highways safer by making snow tires more affordable.”