Ex-MLA says appointment controversy 'playing politics'3/13/2013
Former New Brunswick cabinet minister Margaret-Ann Blaney spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time about her controversial appointment as CEO of a Crown corporation.
Last May, then-energy minister Blaney resigned her Rothesay seat and was appointed chief executive officer of Efficiency New Brunswick by Premier David Alward — a move that sparked public outrage and allegations of political patronage.
At the time, Blaney cited family reasons for her decision to leave politics.
Blaney's agency appeared at a committee of the legislature Wednesday morning.
She told reporters her appointment to the high-paying job was no different than those of other MLAs who quit to accept jobs.
"The process that I went through is exactly the same process that Elizabeth Weir went through, Bernard Richard. So the process is what it is. So they want to play politics with it," said Blaney.
Weir and Richard were both appointed by Premier Bernard Lord despite being from different political parties than Lord.
Blaney was a Progressive Conservative MLA appointed by PC Premier David Alward.
The PCs have now agreed to introduce an NDP bill forcing MLAs to wait a year after quitting before accepting an appointment. It's a rule that would have prevented Blaney's appointment.
But Blaney said she welcomes a debate on the new law.
"I think it's good to have the dialogue, and to have that discussion."