Premier McNeil must take action to save Atlantic Canada’s Supreme Court seat

August 05, 2016 at 11:17 am

File injunction with Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, says Baillie

PC Leader Jamie Baillie

HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says Stephen McNeil should fight for Atlantic Canada’s seat on the Supreme Court of Canada by filing an injunction with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

The federal Liberal government is opening the application process to the entire country and there is no guarantee an Atlantic Canadian will get the spot. This is despite a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada that states “Parliament cannot unilaterally change the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada”

“Atlantic Canada deserves representation in the nation’s highest court,” says Baillie. “It’s time Premier McNeil stood up to the Liberals in Ottawa and file an injunction with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to prevent the loss of this seat.”

The Premier told the CBC that he “would have liked to have seen” the Liberals put an Atlantic Canadian on the Supreme Court’s benches.

That’s not good enough, says Baillie.

“The Premier seems to have resigned himself to the federal decision and has once again not stood up to fight for the interests of Nova Scotia,” says Baillie. “McNeil’s inability to stand up to the federal Liberals’ bad decisions regarding Atlantic Canada shows a disturbing trend.”

Last month, federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc made changes to a longstanding shrimp fisheries policy that will have negative consequences for Cape Breton’s economy. Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell said he was disappointed, but took no further action.

“It’s a troubling pattern,” says Baillie. “The Atlantic provinces are being taken for granted by the federal Liberals. We’ve got an ACOA minister from Ontario, there’s been no change to healthcare funding to account for demographics, there’s no Liberals standing up for our fishermen and now they are trying to take away a voice on this very powerful institution.”