Tag: government accountability

I like Bernie Miller, and I think Stephen McNeil is lucky to have the currently-on-leave managing partner at McInnes Cooper as one of his Liberal government’s key political advisors. Having said that, I also think, as a matter of public policy, we need to ask serious questions about McNeil’s deal with Bernard F. Miller Services […]

It’s hard not to feel a twinge of sympathy for the conundrum Stephen McNeil’s Liberals face as they scramble to figure out what to do next with the listing ship that is the Yarmouth-Portland ferry service. But it’s also hard not to believe the government’s decision last week to put off deciding who will run […]

One would like to believe newly installed Finance Minister Randy Delorey meant it. Last week he told union leaders representing teachers, health care workers, paramedics and assorted clusters of government employees he wanted to meet to discuss a “new approach” to collective bargaining. There are more than 300 collective agreements slated for re-negotiation this year, […]

It was not a good week for Nova Star Cruises, the operators of the Yarmouth-Portland ferry. But it may turn out to have been an even worse week for Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government. Let’s start with Nova Star. Last Tuesday, CEO Mark Amundsen announced it had reached a multi-year deal with Euroferries Express Ltd. to […]

So, let me see if I understand this correctly. Nova Scotia’s Department of Motor Vehicles takes in $120 million a year to register vehicles, peddle license plates, test drivers, promote highway safety, etc. The DMV costs $30-35 million a year to operate, meaning it nets the provincial treasury $85-90 million a year. But the DMV’s […]

There is something rich — and richly ironic — hearing Stephen McNeil fret about the number of voters who didn’t bother to cast ballots in last week’s three provincial by-elections. McNeil, after all, chose the date. He could have called the by-elections for late spring when voters might conceivably have been more engaged. Instead, he picked […]

Do you know how many of the donations to winning candidates in the 2012 Halifax municipal election came from companies “involved in development?” Do you know how much money your district councillor received from this dog’s breakfast of “involved” developers, construction companies and real estate firms, each with self-interests in sundry proposals, projects and permits […]

“The business of government is not to prop up businesses,” harrumphed Marco Navarro-Genie, president and CEO of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), the Halifax-based right-wing think tank that rarely encounters a government program (or government for that matter) it does not think should shrivel up and die. “The real point,” he continued, “ought […]

Last week’s provincial budget shows how governments can be tough-talking, penny-pinching wise and what-were-they-smoking, real-world foolish, both at the same time. Exhibit A: the evisceration of Nova Scotia’s film tax credit. Finance Minister Diana Whalen argued the credit was too generous, went to filmmakers whose films weren’t shot in Nova Scotia and to companies that […]

I’ve known Andrew Younger since the summer of 1998. I was director of the King’s School of Journalism. He was on the waiting list for our one-year Bachelor of Journalism class. He wasn’t near the top of the list, but he was persistent. He maintained what seemed like daily contact, just letting us know how […]