Stephen McNeil promises new legislature will be kinder
Nova Scotia Premier says he'll welcome opposition bills
The Nova Scotia legislature opens for its fall sitting today and Premier Stephen McNeil is promising his Liberal government will be less confrontational and more co-operative at Province House.
The Liberal premier said the pre-election sitting this past spring was toxic and he's hoping to change that.
There are 33 Liberals in the 51-seat house.
Despite the comfortable majority, McNeil said his party will to be conciliatory when it comes to law making.
"If they bring in amendments that make sense, strengthen the bill, I told our ministers to adopt them,” he said.
McNeil said he’s open to giving opposition bills a shot at moving through the house.
"I'd like to enter into a conversation with the opposition. If they've got good legislation we can allow it to move into law amendments to have the public debate that bill," he said.
The premier would still control whether that bill moves on to become law.
The opposition parties — led by Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie and New Democratic Party Leader Maureen MacDonald — agree the party in power should listen to opposing voices.
"He should adopt any idea that's a good idea to turn Nova Scotia around regardless of where it came from," said Baillie.
"Seems to me that any political party that can bring forward good ideas deserves consideration," echoed MacDonald .
The next few weeks will test the government's good will when debate starts on government business and the opposition parties start tabling their bills.
McNeil said Thursday's throne speech will contain no surprises.
He said two key commitments from the election trail, including legislation to break Nova Scotia Power's monopoly and to strengthen rules around government assistance to the private sector, will be among those in the throne speech.
With files from The Canadian Press