Whynott: Group should not bill ratepayers for Liberal and PC briefings

July 30, 2013

NDP MLA Mat Whynott says Stephen McNeil and Jamie Baillie should tell the Lower Power Rates Alliance of Nova Scotia it’s not acceptable to bill ratepayers for meetings with political parties.

In its claim to the UARB, the Lower Power Rates Alliance claimed $6,900 for 23 hours of consulting and research by Craig MacDonald, which includes “evidence sharing with other interveners” including the “NS Liberal Party” and “NS PC Party”. See expense filing: LPRANS_Cost_Recovery_Request for UARB on ML, page 15.

“A briefing for Stephen McNeil and Jamie Baillie shouldn’t cost ratepayers $300 a day. Were the Opposition Leaders aware ratepayers were being charged for their briefings and do they support it? If not, the right thing for Stephen McNeil and Jamie Baillie to do is tell Lower Power Rates Alliance they shouldn’t bill $300 a day to brief Liberal and PC MLAs,” says Whynott.

“If the group won’t comply the Liberals and Tories should return the political donations they received from Lower Power Rates Alliance founding board member Todd MacDonald.”

It has been reported in 2012 that Todd MacDonald contributed $5000 to the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia. In 2013, MacDonald said he gave $5000 to the Conservative Party of Nova Scotia. The maximum an individual can donate to a political party in Nova Scotia is $5000 annually.