Upon arriving at his home in Granville Ferry, McNeil, 56, who once owned a small business, said he was excited to help the company “grow its business, not just within our own.” local community, but also nationally and internationally. . “ McNeil said he was approached in late January, while still prime minister, about the possibility of joining the law firm.
“I made it very clear that I was not interested in being a lobbyist or a government relations person,” McNeil said. “What I was looking to do would be more strategic and give advice. “
No legal training
Although McNeil has no legal training, he believes he can bring other skills to his new job.
“It’s really about business development,” he said. “It’s about ensuring that their clients continue to be competitive in the global community, seeking opportunities both nationally and internationally. “
Dan Ingersoll, the company’s managing partner in Halifax, said it was senior partner Danny Gallivan who launched the idea to pursue McNeil, in part because of what he had seen on several trade missions. with the former prime minister.
He echoed McNeil’s comments that the former prime minister would not do lobbying work.
“Our clients, globally, have legal service needs but they also have strategic goals,” Ingersoll said in an interview.
“An overview of how some other markets work, other opportunities. So we really hope Stephen can provide that insight and make connections for us and our clients. “
McNeil said he was proud of his government’s record in terms of economic and population growth. He believes his new job might require similar efforts.
“And I believe this opportunity will give me a chance to continue building on this work here in the province,” he said.
He was more specific about what was not part of his new job.
“I will promote Nova Scotia”
“There is certainly no lobbying or government relations. I give them strictly strategic advice, and I will promote Nova Scotia through their firm to their clients and I hope to be able to attract outside clients who will come and use their services as a law firm, ”a McNeil said.
Even though McNeil wanted to be a lobbyist, provincial regulations impose a one-year cooling off period for executive council members after they leave government.
As prime minister, McNeil has visited China eight times in an attempt to strengthen ties with that country’s government. During his tenure, seafood exports to China reached $ 1 billion.
It is this kind of work that his successor, Iain Rankin, seems ready to continue.
“They have work in China,” McNeil said of his new employer, but said it wouldn’t be his goal.
Affirmation for Cox & Palmer
Ingersoll agreed that McNeil traveled a lot, but said his experience with China was not the motivation to pursue him.
“From my perspective, China is sort of emblematic of the range of experiences Stephen brings to us,” he said.
Having the former prime minister, who rose to national importance during the pandemic, working for them is “a real affirmation for the company,” Ingersoll said.
“We are delighted that he has the confidence that we are the next step for him in his new life and I think all companies are working hard to broaden their base and broaden their approach and their service offerings,” he said. he declares. “We are doing exactly what we should be doing and I hope this will be recognized in the market. “
According to the House of Assembly pensions webpage, McNeil was eligible in 2019 to receive an annual pension of $ 123,123. Ingersoll declined to discuss the terms of McNeil’s arrangement with the company.
McNeil was MLA for Annapolis for 18 years.
He led the Liberals in opposition and went on to win consecutive majority governments.
Ingersoll said McNeil’s new job doesn’t stop him campaigning for the Liberals in the next election.