Opposition blasts Nova Scotia government over appointment to protocol office

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is standing behind his decision to hire a defeated Liberal candidate as the province's protocol officer despite heated criticism in the legislature by the opposition parties.

McNeil says he has no regrets about hiring Glennie Langille for the $85,000-a-year job.

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says the job should have been filled through a competition under the government's fair hiring policy, which doesn't exempt the protocol officer job from the rules.

But McNeil says he hired Langille on a contract outside the civil service and was able to do so through a ministerial appointment.

Acting NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says while there is no legal requirement for the job to go to an open competition, politicians are operating in an environment where the public is fed up with such political moves.

Langille is the former communications director for the Liberals who finished third in the recent election in the riding of Pictou West.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Pictou West

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