Stephen McNeil is leader of the Official Opposition in Nova Scotia and leader of the province’s Liberal Party. He has served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Annapolis since 2003.
In the provincial election held on June 9, 2009, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party captured 11 of 52 seats and 27.2 percent of the vote. The party earned one more seat than the Progressive Conservative Party to become the province’s Official Opposition.
McNeil became party leader on April 28, 2007, during a time of renewal for the party. As Official Opposition leader, McNeil and his party will focus on keeping the New Democratic Party accountable and critiquing the government’s performance on the delivery of its promises. At the time of writing, an immediate issue was whether the provincial budget would be balanced.
In 2003, as a newcomer to Nova Scotia provincial politics, McNeil quickly made a name for himself. During his first term, he worked to address his constituents' needs. In 2005, he forced the government to repay $1 million to low-income seniors who were unfairly charged pharmacare premiums. He was also instrumental in passing a bill to allow persons with a disability the dignity of managing their own care.
Prior to entering politics, McNeil owned and operated a successful small business for more than 18 years. The twelfth of 17 children in a tight-knit family, McNeil has stayed close to his roots. As a young adult, he opted to attend Nova Scotia Community College to learn a trade and then return to the Annapolis Valley to be close to his family.
McNeil resides in Upper Granville, Annapolis County, with his wife Andrea and their two children, Colleen and Jeffrey.