Liberal’s first session falls short

December 12, 2013

(Halifax, N.S.) The Liberal’s first legislative session in government proved to be short on time, short on substance but long on disappointment. The 11 day sitting, the shortest in decades, was highlighted by a number of missteps by Stephen McNeil and his new Cabinet.

With power bills going up on January 1st McNeil failed in his promise to lower power rates. The Liberal Bill to break the power monopoly fell flat and they did not remove the efficiency rate from power bills. There are now serious doubts that this election commitment will be kept after Andrew Younger disclosed doing so could have unintended consequences.

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says the only memorable moment from this session was the discovery that Stephen McNeil gave a high-profile patronage appointment to his friend and former communications director Glennie Langille.

“When Nova Scotians look back on the first session by the Stephen McNeil government they will remember three things: broken promises, failed expectations, and the return of old Liberal dirty tricks,” said MacDonald.

The NDP worked to put an end to those old Liberal dirty tricks with its first piece of legislation to stop patronage appointments to the chief protocol office. The NDP also continued to stand-up for seniors and families by introducing legislation to provide hearing aids for low-income seniors and to extend dental care to more young Nova Scotians. These were both NDP election commitments Stephen McNeil promised to keep, but has failed to deliver.

The NDP stood-up for hard-working Nova Scotians by introducing a Bill requiring a mandatory consultation on CPP and pension reform giving Nova Scotians the opportunity to have their say. This would include 6 to 9 public consultations across the province.

The NDP introduced a resolution similar to those passed in the provincial legislatures of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to abolish the Senate but the Liberal government prevented it from going to a vote.

“This session marked a new beginning for the NDP. Regardless of the role the NDP occupies in the legislature our main priority will always be to bring practical solutions to the everyday problems that people cannot reasonably be expected to solve on their own.”