Kirby McVicar lands at Cape Breton's Louisbourg Seafoods
Former chief of staff to Premier Stephen McNeil asked to 'come back and help Cape Breton'
A Cape Breton seafood company has hired Kirby McVicar, the former chief of staff of Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
In November, McVicar resigned from the premier's office amid allegations he broke privacy laws by making public medical information of former Liberal cabinet minister Andrew Younger.
"I don't care about that," said Louisbourg Seafoods executive Dannie Hansen. "That's politics. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made hundreds of mistakes.
"I went after him myself. I drove to Halifax and told him you come back and help Cape Breton. We need serious management experience to help us."
McVicar, a Glace Bay native, has been hired as a manager at Louisbourg Seafoods, which operates five separate seafood companies. He will split his time between Cape Breton and Halifax.
"I am very happy to be employed by such a progressive company as Louisbourg Seafoods," McVicar said in an email.
"They continue to have an huge impact on my home area of the province, Cape Breton, with 500 employees. Any comment beyond that should come from my employer."
Not acting as a lobbyist
Hansen said McVicar is not acting as a lobbyist for Louisbourg Seafoods, which is trying to secure entry into the surf clam fishery from the federal government. McVicar, he said, was part of a team of managers that went to Ottawa recently to meet with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
A spokeswoman for federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo provided details on that March 29 meeting in Ottawa between George Young — Tootoo's chief of staff — McVicar and Bruce Hartley, a registered lobbyist for Louisbourg Seafoods.
"The meeting was at the request of Mr. Hartley, who had indicated that he was a registered lobbyist for Louisbourg Seafoods and that he wished to introduce Mr. Young to a Louisbourg Seafoods employee, Mr. McVicar," Patricia Bell said in an email to CBC News.
"The meeting was introductory and general in nature regarding Louisbourg Seafoods."
Prior to joining the provincial Liberals in 2011, McVicar was director of national operations at Eastlink Cable.
Louisbourg Seafoods processes snow crab, shrimp and groundfish. It has three plants in Cape Breton and one in Canso.