$60,000 Wasted So Far on Private Law

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016


For Immediate Release




$60,000 Wasted So Far on Private Law Firm and Crisis Communications




Keith Hutchings, Opposition Finance Critic, said, “It is appalling, at a time when the Premier and the Minister of Finance are forcing enormous tax increases and essential service cuts on families, that the Liberal government has spent $60,000 to date on a private law firm, including $20,000 on a private crisis communications advisor‎, for assistance on public sector negotiations which have not yet begun, duplicating the work of personnel already on the public payroll."




"When asked on June 7 in the House of Assembly to reveal the total amount spent to date on this law firm and its crisis communications contract, the Finance Minister could not provide an update of what was spent. At the end of March – the Finance Minister identified the amount spent to be $14,000 - far less than the figure we're now seeing. Have the expenses ballooned in the past couple of months, and if so why? - or did the Minister deliberately low-ball the cost?"




"What makes this all the more appalling is the fact that these expenditures are reportedly to facilitate public sector union negotiations - negotiations that are badly off the rails since the Liberal Government missed negotiating deadlines with the Nurses' Union and the Association of Allied Health Professionals," he said. "The parties are not even at the negotiating table as a result of the error made. Where does this leave labour negotiations for this fiscal year?”




"This whole issue shows a continued pattern of poor judgment and misplaced priorities on the part of the Ball government. We demand an immediate end to the contract, and a full accounting of the total amount of the people's money that the Liberals have wasted."






Media Contact:


Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition,


(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca


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