N.S. Conservatives kick off annual meeting with MacDonald tribute

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Conservatives kicked off their annual general meeting Friday night with a tribute to former premier Rodney MacDonald, including one from the prime minister.
Stephen Harper, in a video played to hundreds of party faithful, praised MacDonald as someone who worked on behalf of the province while respecting the interests of Canada.
MacDonald stepped down as party leader following the Tory defeat in last spring's provincial election and resigned his Inverness seat in the legislature last September.
In a speech to the crowd, the former premier said it was an honour to have led the party for 3 1/2 years.
MacDonald said he believes history will be kind to his government's record, citing the Crown share deal, pharmacare program and sweeping environment legislation as its legacy.
The now 38-year-old rose to power in February 2006, upsetting perceived front-runner Neil LeBlanc at the party's leadership convention.
Seen as a fresh face, MacDonald was chosen to lead the party back to majority status following the departure of former premier John Hamm.
But voters only returned the Tories with a minority in 2006 and then solidly rejected them last June, giving the NDP under Darrell Dexter a majority.

Organizations: Tory, NDP

Geographic location: Canada, Inverness

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