Opposition parties hammer Liberals as legislature reopens

The Nova Scotia legislature opened for its spring sitting with the Liberal government on the defensive just days before what's expected to be an early election call.

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives and the NDP raised questions Tuesday about a land deal for a new community outpatient centre on the outskirts of Halifax.

They also took aim at the spending habits of Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines during his tenure as the Warden of Municipality of the District of Guysborough.

In a report released Friday, Nova Scotia's Ombudsman characterized the Hines's spending as, quote, "indulgent and opportunistic."

For his part, Hines told reporters he was pleased with the report.

Premier Stephen McNeil backed Hines, saying he has his full confidence.

Although the report found no wrongdoing, it says Hines used his corporate credit card to pay for thousands of dollars worth of personal purchases, which violated written policies even though he paid back the municipality.