NS Liberal leader McNeil and the Right to Know Coalition

Agar Adamson in an article in today’s Advertiser [no link yet at
NovaNewsNow]  said this of McNeil’s chances of rebuilding the

What does the Liberal party stand for? Is it not bereft of policy and programme? True it is not the Tory party [but what is that we ask ?] and it is not the NDP, but what is it? Currently it is the crutch that is
holding up the Conservatives. Is this how the party wishes to be
…most elections are won or lost in the trenches, the individual consituencies. To win, a party must recruit strong candidates right across the province. Those candidates must be recuited today not when the writ is dropped….[Federal Conservatives take note]

Recent Liberal leaders have permitted the party to  decompose at the constituency level. John Savage, who was a good though very unpopular premier, did not rebuild the party at the riding level. Danny Graham made a start in that direction, but because of family considerations could not continue in this task. McNeil will have to spend his summers rebuilding each constituency association. As one former Savage cabinet
minister said, it will take the Liberal party 10 years to get back in
power because we are so weak at the constituency level.”

The Right to Know Coalition sent this e-mail to each of the Liberal leadership candidates.

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia is devoted to getting Nova
Scotians re-engaged in the political process and more likely to vote.
We believe that using our Freedom of Information legislation is a major
step towards this objective. We are interested in your views on our
Freedom of Information legislation and, in particular, the user fees
which are the highest in Canada. We want the fees to be eliminated or
at least considerably reduced.
Your comments will be appreciated and will appear on our website.

Darce Fardy
Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia

Mike Smith (our preference) [no longer!] was the first to respond with Diana Whalen following up. The winner, Stephen McNeil, it seems, did not reply at all. Does this bode well, we ask, for the party?

We received this e-mail recently from Darce Fardy of the Right to Know coalition: (emphases ours)

I have been reading with interest your blog site which can be accessed from our site. The mandate of our coalition is to promote openness and accountability in government and municipalities; to get citizens re-engaged in the political process (as Wolfville Watch is) and more likely to get out and vote.  The freedom of information legislation in Nova Scotia is largely ignored by Nova Scotians even though it is an essential democratic tool. Municipalities’ freedom of information legislation is found in Part XX of the Municipal Government Act.
Please check our website.  Perhaps we can work together on some projects.  I am certainly available to come to Wolfville and speak about peoples’ rights to information. Perhaps Acadia would cooperate in hosting an open government forum.
Darce Fardy

Right to Know Coalition
of Nova Scotia
(902) 422-1481

This would certainly be a good way of rebuilding at the local level – help get people involved in local politics. Politics at the Municipal and Provincial levels impacts people most directly and we as voters can have a significant influence if we pay attention and get good information.

So can we challenge McNeil to take some leadership on this?


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