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Liberals attack secrecy in government appointments

A system of secrecy surrounding government appointments may soon be opened up to public scrutiny.

A system of secrecy surrounding government appointments may soon be opened up to public scrutiny.

The issue was raised again yesterday when the government appointed Sherry Porter as head of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

Porter is currently board chair of the QEII Foundation and has held high-ranking posts at Sobeys, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores and Symphony Nova Scotia.

Liberals didn’t question Porter’s qualifications, but they did attack the appointment system.

Currently the government only reveals the winner of a certain job. The applicants who are looked over are never made public.

Liberal MLA Michel Samson said the system needs to be opened up to prove the most-qualified candidates are landing jobs, and he quoted now-Finance Minister Graham Steele agreeing with him in 2002.

“There were no published qualifications, no interviews, no public information about the qualifications of the 77 unlucky candidates, so how do we know we got the people best able to run a $374 million per year liquor corporation,” went the quote from Steele as read by Samson in the legislature.

Last fall the NDP said they couldn’t reveal the candidates because the rules wouldn’t allow it. Yesterday Premier Darrell Dexter said the NDP are now looking at changing the rules.

Dexter said heavy workload, including reforming the political expensing system after the expense scandal, had kept the government from being able to make changes sooner.

 
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