HALIFAX, NS – Today, Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie is calling on Premier Stephen McNeil to release all the redacted emails between his communications staff and senior officials regarding the shady hiring of Marilla Stephenson.
“If the Premier has nothing to hide then he should release all the emails,” says Baillie. “Give Nova Scotians the information and let them judge it for themselves.”
Premier McNeil is under fire this week for giving Stephenson a permanent government job that she co-wrote the job description for and was the only applicant in an internal search that lasted less than a week.
A heavily redacted FOIPOP shows that following a media request regarding Stephenson’s new job, the director of communications, press secretary and communications advisor all exchanged emails about the messaging and details that would be released. Laura Lee Langley, deputy minister of the Office of the Premier, is also included in the email chain.
“The Premier’s inner circle had plenty to say about this issue, but now that’s all been covered up,” says Baillie. “If the Premier is so confident about the process in which Ms. Stephenson was hired, he shouldn’t be worried about what those closest to him have to say about it.”
Baillie says this email exchange could shed some light on the decision to offer Stephenson the $106,000 a year gig and the manner in which the Liberals did it. He adds there are a lot of unanswered questions.
“The Premier has been spinning when he should be explaining,” says Baillie. “Put all the cards on the table and have an open and honest conversation about the hiring of Ms. Stephenson.”