May 15th, 2020

Democratic accountability needed during pandemic

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia could be doing better when it comes to democratic oversight and accountability during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the NDP has been focussed on working constructively with the government to ensure people’s priorities and needs are being addressed,” said Claudia Chender, NDP House Leader. “As time goes on, however, it becomes more clear that our democratic institutions need to resume operations to ensure that the problems people are facing are raised in an accountable and public way.”

The federal government and several provinces have continued to hold committee meetings and legislative sittings, while also following physical distancing requirements.

"Legislative committees are one place where elected representatives can demand accountability from the government. Suspending the work of committees, when they can meet virtually, does a disservice to Nova Scotians,” said Chender. “The challenges facing the province have fundamentally changed since the legislature last met March 10. Nova Scotians deserve as much accountability from their government as is available to people in other provinces."

Four weeks ago, on April 17, Chender sent a letter to the Liberal and Conservative House Leaders requesting that the Public Accounts and Health committees resume meeting using a virtual format.