HALIFAX, NS – PC MLA Tim Houston says the McNeil government is playing dishonest old-school politics with school funding decisions.
Today, Auditor General Michael Pickup tabled his report regarding funding for upcoming school capital projects. The report provided proof that the McNeil Liberals are playing politics when it comes to schools.
Pickup stated his disappointment in the Liberal government’s lack of transparency and objective decision-making.
“We are lost to understand why these schools were approved given the analysis provided to us,” said the report.
The AG found the McNeil Liberals ignored objective rankings and had cabinet intervene at the last minute to fund schools lower down on the list, such as Tatamagouche and Bridgetown. Those two schools are in Education Minister Karen Casey’s and Premier McNeil’s ridings, respectively.
“Let’s call it what it is — this is building schools for votes,” Houston said. “The AG asked the McNeil Liberals to explain how those schools were selected and they provided no answers. The simple answer is these are political decisions.”
The decision by the McNeil Government to fund a new school in Eastern Passage caused the most frustration for the AG. Pickup said there was no evidence that a new school was needed in that particular area and it would, in fact, cause issues for two neigbouring schools. Mr. Pickup recommended that the Liberal government revisit and reverse their decision.
“The McNeil government has not accepted that recommendation and is going ahead with the school despite the AG’s warnings”, Houston said. “The AG has delivered a stark picture of the state of things in the Department of Education. There’s no rhyme nor reason for the decisions being made in that department, except for pure political motives. It’s shameful.”