The province and Elwin MacNeil, the former chair of the Alcoholand Gaming Authority, have agreed to an out-of-court settlement,ending a potentially lengthy and costly legal challenge. “We believe the terms of the agreement provide faircompensation,” said Justice Minister Michael Baker. “Resolvingthis through negotiation saves both parties from a lengthy trialand potential appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada, and is inthe best interests of Nova Scotian taxpayers.” “On behalf of my client, we are satisfied that this matter hasbeen resolved,” said Mr. MacNeil’s lawyer Blaise MacDonald. “Itavoids the prospect of costly and drawn out litigation.” Mr. MacNeil, who was appointed chair in 1995, lost his full-timeposition in April 2000 when government transferred theadjudicative function of the Alcohol and Gaming Authority to theNova Scotia Utility and Review Board. Mr. Baker said complex legal issues in the lawsuit could havetaken this case to the Supreme Court of Canada. “Since Mr.MacNeil’s contract entitled him to the salary and pensionbenefits equivalent to a provincial court judge, a lengthy legalchallenge could have cost the province more than $2.5 milliondollars.” The agreement adds an approximate $30,000 annual pension to the$12,000 pension Mr. MacNeil was already entitled to under thePublic Service Superannuation Act for his five years ofgovernment service. It also includes $40,000 for legal expenses.
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