NDP accuse Liberals of secret backroom deal
NDP claims anonymous government email shows Liberals traded HST vote for road work in 2008
The New Democratic Party amped up its attack on Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil Thursday, claiming an anonymous email is proof of backroom dealings during the 2008 budget vote.
The NDP claims in 2008, the Liberals voted for the minority government Progressive Conservative budget that re-imposed the Harmonized Sales Tax on electricity in a trade for paving in the ridings of six Liberal MLAs.
"He turned his back on every Nova Scotian family,’ said NDP candidate Maureen MacDonald during a news conference Thursday.
"He made a secret backroom deal that cost Nova Scotia families more than $30-million in tax increases while Liberal MLAs got about three kilometres of road work each."
The NDP produced an apparent government email that shows $4-million worth of road work in Liberal ridings added after the 2008 budget passed.
"Was there negotiations? Of course there was," McNeil told CBC News, campaigning in Wolfville.
McNeil denies his party's 2008 budget vote was tied to paving, saying he won more money for the low income Keep The Heat program and a commitment to train more doctors.
"We voted on the budget for what was in it, not anything that’s outside of that budget," he said.
The NDP would not say how this information came to them or when they got it. They would only say that it had "come to our attention recently."
In the email, the name of the sender and the receiver of the message has been removed.
McNeil said the episode smacks of desperation.
"I believe they had information, quite frankly, and their own polling that tells them that the premier's reputation is in tatters and the only thing they can do is tear my reputation apart because there’s no way they can rebuild his," he said.