Speaker Following Premier's Jet-Setting Lead: McNeil(Halifax, NS) Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says he isn’t surprised that Speaker Charlie Parker is leaving the country for two weeks in the midst of the MLA expense matter - Parker is just following the example set by NDP premier Darrell Dexter.
“Here we are at a critical juncture of the reform process and the Speaker, the very person tasked with implementing the changes to the system, is nowhere to be found,” states McNeil. “I don’t believe the NDP fully comprehend the public’s anger around expenses - government members have been too busy travelling to Vancouver, Arizona, Berlin and Westminster.”
The Speaker of the House is departing on March 4 for two days of Council of State Governments meetings in Portland, Maine. From there, the Speaker is travelling to Westminster, England to attend a twelve-day seminar on parliamentary practices and procedures before returning to the province on March 21st.
“When the Auditor-General brought down his report, Premier Dexter was conveniently on vacation. When Nova Scotia’s taxpayers were looking for action and answers, Premier Dexter was enjoying the Olympic Games and a junket in Washington, D.C.,” says the Liberal leader. “Now when leadership is needed in the Speaker’s Office, the Speaker is getting on a plane to leave the country.”
“This government has no problem backing away from its many election promises, but it seems its travel plans are set in stone."