Premier defends relationship with Nova Scotia Power
Premier Darrell Dexter is brushing aside claims his office is too cozy with Nova Scotia Power.
The provincial Liberal Party said it has obtained documents under Nova Scotia's Freedom of Information Act that shows the premier's spokesperson, Jennifer Stewart, twice sent the utility a word-by-word account of exchanges between her boss and reporters last May.
The scrum dealt with executive salaries at the utility.
Dexter said there's nothing wrong with his office keeping Nova Scotia Power up to date on what reporters are asking him and how he's responding to questions. Staff routinely prepares transcripts of those exchanges for internal use, he said.
"It's a perfectly normal part of everyday business," Dexter said.
The premier said his office would share that information with anyone who wants to know what's going on inside or outside the chamber.
"If they hear they're being mentioned, same with Projex or IBM or anybody who would call and would want to know what was going on at the house, we'd help them out with whatever information we had," he said.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said he doesn't think taxpayers are that easy-going about the goodwill between the premier's office and Nova Scotia Power.
"Do they think it's appropriate for the premier's office to be standing here and be the ears and the eyes for Nova Scotia Power at the legislature? Nova Scotia Power makes a lot of money think they could afford somebody down here," he said.
Dexter sidestepped the attack saying McNeil is the one who is too close with Nova Scotia Power.
"He hired one of their executives to be his chief of staff. He hired another one of them to be a communications officer... If anyone had a close connection to Nova Scotia Power it is the Nova Scotia Liberal Party," he said.