April 6th, 2021

Liberals should pass NDP legislation to deal with democratic deficit

HALIFAX -- After a year of limited legislative oversight and democratic roadblocks from the Liberal government, the NDP is pushing for increased democratic oversight of government spending and decision making.

“The lack of a regular legislative calendar, as is the norm in most provinces, allows the incumbent government to shut down the legislature whenever they choose. This meant there was no legislative oversight for the past year,” said NDP House Leader Claudia Chender. “Our proposed legislation would require the Legislature to sit on a more regular basis, and would help create set hours at the Legislature, which would encourage more women to participate in politics.”

While every other legislature in the country found solutions to continuing legislative work during 2020, the Nova Scotia legislature sat for only 14 days total.

“This Liberal government has approved more than $1 billion in spending through the appropriations process, and there has been zero legislative oversight of that spending,” said Chender. “It is completely unacceptable that during a crisis our democratic institutions ceased to function because the Liberals used their majority government to shut MLAs out of Province House. This should not be allowed to happen again in the future, which is why we are calling on the Premier to agree to pass these bills.”

NDP MLAs have tabled a number of bills to address the democratic deficit in Nova Scotia. The legislation includes efforts to expand voting rights at the municipal level, to create a regular legislative calendar, and to expand public access to the law amendments process.