Top Ten Reasons Families Should be Worried about Stephen McNeil

March 1, 2013

Mat Whynott

MLA, Hammonds Plains – Upper Sackville

(Halifax, N.S.) NDP MLA Mat Whynott says Nova Scotia workers and families should be worried about Stephen McNeil and the Liberals. 

 As the Liberals head into their Annual General Meeting this weekend in Halifax, Whynott pointed out the top ten reasons Nova Scotians should be worried about Stephen McNeil.

 “In 2008, McNeil and the Liberals voted with the Rodney MacDonald Conservatives to charge HST on power bills,” said Whynott. “It took the Liberals only a couple of minutes to increase every Nova Scotians’ power bill by 8%. What damage could they do if they had four years?”

In contrast, the NDP voted against adding HST to home heating in 2008 and rolled back the 8% increase soon after forming government.

The McNeil Liberals have also taken a hostile approach with businesses employing Nova Scotia workers. Over the last several months, McNeil has consistently attacked employers who have committed to creating thousands of jobs in Nova Scotia. His outbursts have gone so far that the Atlantic President of Projex wrote a letter asking not to be made a “political punching bag.” 

“Nova Scotia is just starting to turn the corner after 20 years of the worst economic performance in Canada,” said Whynott. “We have great opportunities and instead of embracing them like our NDP government, McNeil has gone on the attack. Do Nova Scotians really want a Premier who is becoming an expert at attacking jobs?”


Top Ten Reasons Families Should be Worried about Stephen McNeil

1. Stephen McNeil would put the HST back on home heating.
In 2008, McNeil and the Liberals voted with the Rodney MacDonald Conservatives to add 8% HST to home energy. In 2010, they voted against the NDP plan to take the HST off home energy and called saving Nova Scotians money “a piece of bad bad public policy.”


2. Stephen McNeil and the Liberals won’t invest in rural communities. McNeil has consistently attacked rural job opportunities: he questioned the Shelburne aquaculture jobs and wrote off the NDP investment to save Port Hawkesbury jobs as a blank cheque.


3. McNeil would trust our energy future to Hydro-Quebec rather than invest in the made-in Atlantic Canada Maritime Link. Any Newfoundlander can tell you what happens when you put your energy future in the hands of Hydro Quebec.


4. McNeil has called for a $70 million cut in the paving budget. The NDP has invested more than $1 billion in roads since 2009 and there is still more work to be done. A $70 million cut per year means a lot of unsafe roads.  


5. Stephen McNeil and the Liberals would let once in a lifetime opportunities pass Nova Scotia by. If McNeil had his way, Nova Scotia would have no ships, no centre for IT excellence, no Maritime Link and no opportunities for Nova Scotians currently working out of province to return home.


6. McNeil won’t say when (or if) he would balance the budget. The Liberals’ 2009 election platform called for an additional $500 million in spending, with no plan to pay for it. Over the last four years, McNeil has repeatedly called for spending increases, without ever saying how he would pay for them or when he would balance the budget.


7. McNeil has promised to centralize health care decision making in Halifax. Stephen McNeil plans to take decision making about health care out of communities and centralize it in the Minister’s office in Halifax. 


8. Stephen McNeil’s blind ambition has led him to criticize for the sake of criticizing. Despite our Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) models being recognized nationally as an important health innovation, McNeil continues to criticize them. He even skipped the opening of the CEC in his own community. He’s also attacked Nova Scotia employers who’ve promised to create thousands of jobs.


9. McNeil’s “my way or the highway” leadership style means Nova Scotians are being shut out and shut down. As party leader, McNeil caused the mass resignation of local party members when he ignored official policy and local advice and hand-picked candidates in Cape Breton.


10. Stephen McNeil needed to hire a consultant to help him manage an office of 16 people. If he couldn’t oversee a handful of people, how would he run a whole province?