Former unionist files complaint about Chretien meeting with Nova Scotia premier

Former prime minister Jean Chretien participates in an interview, Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A retired union spokesman has been told Nova Scotia’s Lobbyists Registration Act doesn’t include ways to actually deal with complaints, after he filed one about a meeting last month between Premier Stephen McNeil and former prime minister Jean Chretien.

John McCracken filed the complaint saying he believes there was lobbying done by Chretien, who is an adviser for the group that promotes the Port of Sydney.

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Chretien is not registered as a lobbyist in Nova Scotia as required by law, and McNeil has repeatedly denied that any lobbying took place.

McCracken was told in a letter from the registrar responsible for the Act, Hayley Clarke, that it “does not contain a complaint or investigation procedure” – something McCracken says demonstrates that the act “has no teeth.”

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McNeil says the act is simply a registry, and points out that McCracken does have the option as stated in his letter to seek a criminal investigation.

While McCracken isn’t specific about what he’ll do next, he says he may end up seeking the advice of a “lawyer friend or two.”

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