Premier Darrell Dexter, today, April 17, expressed sadness over the passing of Rita MacNeil. “Rita always followed her passion and never let anything hold her back from reaching her dreams,” said Premier Dexter. “Despite her world-wide success, you felt like you could be her friend. She was a kind woman who stayed close to her deep roots in Big Pond.” The premier recognized her struggle with poverty, and her work to advance women’s equality. “Her roots were evident in her songs and in her voice, but you didn’t have to be from Cape Breton to be moved when she sang Working Man,” said Premier Dexter. “The words toShe’s Called Nova Scotia will echo in the hearts of Nova Scotians all over the world for years to come.” Ms. MacNeil was a member of Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. She was recognized with three Juno Awards and multiple Canadian Country Music Association and East Coast Music awards. The premier expressed condolences to Ms. MacNeil’s friends and family.