Since Liberal MLAs unanimously supported Stephen McNeil’s legislated education contract, Bill 75, several Liberal MLAs have come out to explain their “yes” vote. For some, their reasoning has changed from a few months prior.
In December, Lunenburg MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft told CKBW she would support a legislated contract on teachers because, “if I am outside that caucus group, then I don’t have a voice”. Lohnes-Croft was suggesting that if she were to vote against a legislated contract, she would be kicked out of the McNeil Liberal Caucus. Stephen McNeil previously laughed off a question on whether his House Whip, Brendan Maguire, would force Liberal MLAs to support Bill 75.
This week, Lohnes-Croft has a new explanation. Talking with CKBW, Lohnes-Croft says she voted “yes” to support Bill 75 because “she wanted to initiate change” through a new commission established by Bill 75.
In December, Lohnes-Croft recognized that “it may not please my constituents” to support a contract on teachers.
When Bill 75 came to a final vote in the Legislature, every Liberal MLA voted in support. All Progressive Conservative MLAs opposed the legislation.
Speaking with the Cape Breton Post last week, PC Leader Jamie Baillie summarized Stephen McNeil’s disastrous legislation:
“This whole thing would have been avoided. Mr. McNeil, his style, which is to humiliate teachers, to divide people, has actually cost us two school days this year. He provoked a one-day strike, the first in our history, and he locked the students out in December. The other thing is, the teachers, they don’t trust Premier McNeil anymore, they don’t trust his government and that means all hope of real classroom improvements is gone for the remainder of his government, and that’s a shame.”