HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie issued the following statement in response to the McNeil Liberals’ incompetent and dishonest handling of the teachers’ labour disruption:
“Like teachers, parents and students across the province, the members of the Progressive Conservative Caucus have lost confidence in Karen Casey’s ability to lead the education department. It is now clear the Minister used students as pawns in a political game, risking their education and more pressingly, their safety.
This morning the Liberals led parents to believe the government had entered new negotiations with the Teachers Union. That was not true. During her press conference, the Minister said she cancelled school today because of safety concerns. In that same press conference, she admitted actions taken by the NSTU to resolve those concerns were brought to her attention as early as Saturday. The President of the NSTU says that information was provided to the government on Friday afternoon. Still, for political purposes, the Minister decided to cancel school today.
A Liberal cocktail of incompetence and dishonesty has led to students being used as pawns. This is not acceptable. There must be accountability.
One thing is perfectly clear. This Minister no longer has the moral authority to carry this file and negotiate with teachers going forward. The onus is now on Premier Stephen McNeil to do the right thing and remove his Education Minister immediately.”