McNeil winds down time in office as N.S. Liberals get ready to choose new leader

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil will hold one of his last COVID-19 briefings today as the Liberal party gears up to choose a new leader this weekend in Halifax.

Leadership convention delegates will choose from a slate of ex-McNeil cabinet ministers that includes Iain Rankin, Randy Delorey and Labi Kousoulis.

McNeil presided over his last cabinet meeting on Thursday and will stay in office until the new leader and premier is sworn in.

He told reporters Thursday his successor will likely be dealing with a budget deficit of around $500 million, mainly due to the economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus.

McNeil says he is proud of his record during his seven years as premier and believes he is leaving the province in a better position to weather COVID-19 than "any other place."

He has said he plans to sit in the legislature as the member for Annapolis but says he won't run next election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press