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How can you play your fiddle with your head up there?

The more I read about Conserve Nova Scotia’s new leader, the more angry I get. For those that haven’t heard about this, Heather Foley Melvin, Rodney (The Fiddler) MacDonald’s former chief of staff, was named to head up the new organization at a salary of $131K immediately after last spring’s election. Before that she was the head of an environmental engineering firm, lead researcher in an energy conservation policy group regional manager for a car company.

Yesterday, it came out that not only does she have a handsome salary, but also a rather nice termination clause – nine months of salary plus one month for each year of service. A termination clause is not that unusual at this level, but what galls me the most is that she justified both her salary and the clause thusly:

Foley Melvin defended the termination clause in her contract by telling the committee she left a highly paid private sector job as district manager with Mazda Canada when she became chief of staff.

Did you get that? She deserves her salary and protection because she left a highly paid private sector job when she became chief of staff. Does this mean that she wouldn’t have left the private sector for a four-month job working for Rodney? Does this mean that Rodney had to promise her something nice for afterward? If she deserves a nice plum for being chief of staff, then she should be given the plum as part of that job, not another one. This shows that Rodney has rolled the Conservative Party back to the days of the Buchanon pork-barrel in just a few short months.

Does this stink to high hell?

When asked if she would submit to an open competition for her job, she said:

No, I was offered this little plum fair and square – get your own sugar DaddyI was asked to head this agency, and that’s what I am doing. Fuck you.

In the Legistature, Rodney went on to say that the NDP were being unfair and that they “should be ashamed of how they treated that individual.” Indeed, Rodney, maybe we should all treat her as well as you have.

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9 thoughts on “How can you play your fiddle with your head up there?

  1. Accountable government. Remember those words? I know it was the Feds using them, but it’s all one big happy dinosaur-ridden Conservative, isn’t it?

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  2. Hey, have you guys been experiencing unusual (or not so) power outages the past couple of days? …I guess Heather has started conserving already

    Terry H

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  3. I really have to get a UPS. Last night I was playing Guild Wars and the computer shut down when the power flickered. Pain in the a$$. If you listen to the prats at NS Power, the weather is weird, but we all know that they are just seeing the inevitable result of paring their maintenance staff and budget to improve the bottom line.

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  4. I share your pain, Kevvy – 2 weeks ago, I was stuck in the boonies and had to walk home because the phone system for the entire province went down due to a fire in Aliant Telephone’s building. And where did they put their backup system? In the same building! Not that I’m upset for me of course, but that also meant that 911 was down for 6 hours….

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  5. Believe it or not, Kev, it surprises most of us IN government too…
    Over the last day or so, I’ve gotten closer to the Legislative process than ever, briefing the Minister and the Opposition critic at the House. So much seems to depend on party loyalties and ambition, as well as the assumption that the Civil Service are satanic puppets of the evil regime. It makes my job infinitely more frustrating.

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  6. Interesting that the very first program launched by “Conserve Nova Scotia” is the energy rebate (http://www.yourenergyrebate.ns.ca/). If it isn’t please correct me.

    The G&M has an excellent article today which highlights some of Ontario’s conservation plans like:
    – a rebate program for consumers who use less power (10% less or better)
    – a program (PeakSaver) which allows the power utility to control thermostats across the city during heatwaves

    Full story is at:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061102.wontpower1102/BNStory/National/home

    It’s annoying to see rebate programs “sold” as conservation programs here … they do nothing for conservation but I suppose, putting money back in citizen’s pockets is what Rodney MacDonald figures will score him some extra points with the voters.

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