Friday, 25 May 2012

Liberals wonder why hiring freeze doesn't apply to Blaney


FREDERICTON – Liberal Opposition Leader Victor Boudreau said New Brunswickers are outraged that Premier Alward has appointed Margaret-Ann Blaney as head of a Crown Corporation with a hiring freeze in place, and that no attempt was made by the Premier to find the person best-qualified for the job.

“New Brunswickers are outraged, and so they should be. People want to know why she deserves a two-million dollar payout, while every other New Brunswicker is being told that government has a hiring freeze in place.”

If Blaney serves out the length of her 10-year appointment as CEO of the Crown corporation, Efficiency New Brunswick, it will cost taxpayers $2 million dollars or more.

Boudreau said Blaney’s appointment, "...is a gross misuse of public funds."

Alward appointed Blaney to the $175,000 a year position despite recently naming a deputy minister to assume the job in an effort to save taxpayers’ money.

"Even if the job was vacant, no effort was made to find the best-qualified person for the job," said Boudreau.

When asked about the hiring freeze and why the position was not listed as an open competition, Conservative Cabinet Minister Bruce Fitch responded: “Things change…it is what it is.”

Blaney’s appointment comes as government is cutting spending to departments and services.
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has argued austerity measures are necessary to pull the province out of debt.

Boudreau said he would like to know if Minister Higgs can justify using the public purse for blatant patronage while telling New Brunswickers in need that they will have to do more with less.

“This position was already filled. I’d like to know if the Finance Minister can explain to New Brunswickers why they should pay for Margaret Ann Blaney’s golden parachute. He can’t.”