Liberals appoint former trust fund beneficiary to chair Election Commission

December 3, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says she is disappointed by news that the McNeil government has appointed former Liberal Leader Vince MacLean to chair the Nova Scotia Election Commission.

“The McNeil government has chosen to reward someone who benefited from a corrupt scheme involving misuse of public dollars,” said MacDonald. “Stephen McNeil could have selected someone who represents the new era of political accountability we work in but instead he is taking Nova Scotia back to the past,” said MacDonald.

In October 1990, The Daily News found that then Liberal Leader Vince MacLean was receiving $3,900 a month from the Nova Scotia Liberal Association. 10 days later he announced he would no longer accept the payments from the Hawco trust account. The account was one of two trust accounts which accumulated funds from a Liberal Party toll-gating scheme from 1970 to 1978, while Gerald Regan was premier.

“Stephen McNeil pledged to restore public trust in government and this appointment certainly does not support that idea,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald says she is thankful for the work of the outgoing chair of the Election Commission, Michael Coyle, who recently received the Chief Electoral Officer’s Quality, Service and Value Award for his outstanding commitment to improving election management to benefit all Nova Scotians.

“I am pleased to see that Mr. Coyle was recognized for fostering cooperation and collaboration in his role as chair of the Nova Scotia Election Commission. He will be missed.”