Law firm contracted for bargaining by NL government donated to Liberals in 2016

"From library reviews to Muskrat Falls to P3s to public sector bargaining and everything in between, this sort of ‘pay-to-play’ arrangement casts a shadow over the entire political process." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President

St. John's (07 Feb. 2016) —  Records released to the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) show that the provincial government paid out over $50,000 to McInnes Cooper law firm in the fall of 2016. This brings the total for services rendered thus far to $195,002.53.

Government contractors paid $350 or more per hour to fight workers

Last year, the government hired the services of McInnes Cooper, as well as a crisis management and communications specialist with strong ties to the Liberal Party, to deal with public sector negotiations. The contract means the province is spending $350 or more per hour on public sector negotiations.

This arrangement is further complicated by the fact that McInnes Cooper has donated to the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador as recently as the fall of 2016.

Government law firm donates $500-per plate at Liberal funderaiser

"McInnes Cooper bought a table at the $500-per-plate Liberal fundraiser in September — that much we know. Of course, we don't know if they made other contributions to the Liberal Party as reports and donation lists have not been published since 2014," said Jerry Earle, NAPE President. "It is very disconcerting to know that some of the taxpayer funds being wasted by this government for outside legal counsel are being funneled back to the Liberal Party via political contributions."

"All of this raises serious red flags about who is getting these lucrative government contracts — without tenders," said Earle. "From library reviews to Muskrat Falls to P3s to public sector bargaining and everything in between, this sort of pay-to-play arrangement casts a shadow over the entire political process."


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE

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