Gail Lethbridge
The Chronicle Herald
June 25, 2022
Originally posted here

Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon for Dec. 7, 2016, published during the Liberal government’s protracted confrontation with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

McNeil made his decision to leave office in August 2020 at the height of his popularity. Only he will ever know if his exit, finalized the following February, was timed to avoid anything like a fall from grace. 

Staying on would have resulted in heightened accountability for autocratic decisions which occurred under his tenure. 

The aftermath was his successor Iain Rankin’s problem for a short period. Now it’s Tim Houston’s problem. And, of course, taxpayers are left holding the bag.

The plan to sell the land at Owls Head on the Eastern Shore to a golf course developer prompted outrage from a section of the public who accused the McNeil government of making shady deals behind closed doors with lands that were supposed to become a provincial park.

Houston inherited that problem, but it went away without too much political damage when the developer withdrew the application. McNeil was no longer accountable, but it still was a mark on his legacy.

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