September 1st, 2020

NDP calling for Public Accounts Committee to resume

Halifax -- The NDP Caucus has written a letter to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee calling for monthly meetings to resume. The Health Committee is scheduled to meet in person on September 8.

“Everyone is working to find new ways of doing things while we continue to live with COVID-19. The legislature and committees shouldn’t be any different,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP Caucus Chair and a member of both the Health and Public Accounts committees. “These committees provide an important oversight function and the Liberal government should not be blocking MLAs from doing this work.”

During the next sitting of the legislature, the NDP will table legislation that requires all standing committees to meet a specific number of times each year unless they have unanimous consent from the committee members. The Human Resources Committee has met virtually all summer because it is legally required to meet.

“During the last five and a half months the Liberal government has been running the show behind closed doors,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “We need legislation in place to make sure that a government can’t unilaterally shut down things like the Health and Public Accounts committees. That is why the NDP will table legislation this fall to mandate that committees meet unless the full committee agrees otherwise.”

The last meeting of the Public Accounts Committee was March 11. The NDP has been calling for committees to resume their work, in person or virtually, for several months.