Baillie: How can McNeil justify sending elite group to MIT at taxpayer expense?
HALIFAX, NS – Documents obtained by the Progressive Conservative Caucus show Stephen McNeil’s government is looking at spending US$300,000 of taxpayers’ money to send nine members of the Nova Scotia elite to MIT for “economic development” training.
The list of top-insiders includes:
-Chris Huskilson, CEO and President of Emera
-John Risley, President and CEO of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc.
-Bernie Miller, Special Advisor to the Premier
-Murray Coolican, Deputy Minister of Business, Province of Nova Scotia
-John Knubley, Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Government of Canada
-Dr. Richard Florizone, Dalhousie University President
-Tracy Kitch, President and CEO of IWK Health Centre
-Jevon MacDonald, former GM of Salesforce.com and Co-Founder and CEO of GoInstant
-Patrick Keefe, former VP of Investment at Innovacorp
“This is what happens when there is no vision,” says Baillie. “The premier just approves anything that crosses his desk. Now Premier McNeil wants to spend hundreds of thousands on an elite junket. There is no benefit to the people of Nova Scotia, who will be paying for this venture.”
Baillie says we already know what we need to do, it’s time to get on with it.
He points to:
- Addressing the high costs and red tape for small business
- Increasing our population and improving training for our young people
- Developing our natural resources and improving infrastructure
It’s not clear from the documents what is expected of these participants, or whether there are additional expenses for travel to Boston, Mass.
“Nova Scotians will rightly be outraged to learn Stephen McNeil is underwriting John Risley, Chris Huskilson, top bureaucrats and other millionaires to take high priced training in the United States,” says Baillie.