McNeil Struck Backroom Deal to Put HST on Home Heat

September 12, 2013

McNeil Struck Backroom Deal to Put HST on Home Heat – New Video!

Over and over again Stephen McNeil has raised an important issue in this campaign – trust and transparency. In fact, it’s a key part of his campaign; he talked about trust repeatedly in Tuesday’s debate. The NDP agree, these are important issues for Nova Scotians when deciding who will form the next government on October 8th.

In 2008 Liberal leader Stephen McNeil agreed to support the Conservative Rodney MacDonald minority budget and capital plan. He said the Liberals would support that budget in exchange for a number of concessions, such as medical training seats and Avastin funding. However, we know that the Liberals and Mr. McNeil actually struck a secret backroom deal that led to the Liberals voting for the 2008 budget – a budget that put the HST back on home energy. A secret sweetener that until today was hidden from Nova Scotians.

In exchange for putting the HST back on every family’s home energy bill, Stephen McNeil received $4 million worth of road paving for 6 Liberal MLAs. Here are the facts. On April 29, 2008 the MacDonald Conservatives introduced a budget that put the HST back on home energy. On May 9, Stephen McNeil announced the Liberals would vote in favour of the budget saying there was enough good things in the budget for the Liberals to support it.

Never once during public accounts or public debate did he mention additional roads. In fact, these hidden Liberal roads weren’t mentioned because they were never in the budget or the capital plan.

On May 14, the Conservative budget and capital plan passed with Mr. McNeil’s support. On May 27, the legislature closed for the summer break.

Today, I am releasing an email that shows that 6 days after the legislature rose, outside of public and media scrutiny, the Conservatives added $4 million worth of new roadwork. After the legislature closed, outside of public and media scrutiny, direction was given to add $4 million worth of roads to the already approved capital plan. Every piece of additional roadwork was in a Liberal MLAs riding.

Stephen McNeil, who talks about trust and transparency, struck a backroom deal with Rodney MacDonald and the Conservatives to put the HST back on every home energy bill. Something he never once told Nova Scotians. And Nova Scotia families paid the price – literally. Nova Scotia families paid more than $30 million in higher power bills for about three kilometers of paving in each of six Liberal ridings.

Again, Mr. McNeil has said this election is about trust and transparency. Yet he made a secret backroom deal that cost Nova Scotia families more than $30 million in tax increases, while Liberal MLA’s got about 3 kilometers of roadwork each. As Liberal leader Mr. McNeil would have had to know about this backroom deal.

Stephen McNeil can’t be trusted to stand up for Nova Scotia families. He said taking the HST off home energy was bad, bad public policy. He turned his back on every Nova Scotia family in exchange for a secret backroom deal, done out of the public eye, and outside the scrutiny of the legislature. The more Nova Scotians learn about Stephen McNeil the more they see he is not worth the risk.

The NDP took the HST off home energy and will fight to keep it off so families can afford to stay warm and keep the lights on.

Who can Nova Scotia families trust to protect their best interests? It’s clearly not Stephen McNeil. The answer is Darrell Dexter and the NDP.