NDP to propose amendments to flagship Liberal legislation

NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael

Government seems to have delayed introduction of its long-promised, much-talked-about legislation creating the province’s Independent Appointments Commission. Whenever it does show up for debate in the House of Assembly, the NDP caucus is ready to propose amendments.

NDP Parliamentary Leader Lorraine Michael says government seems to have made an election promise without thinking through exactly how best to keep that promise, but she says she has some suggestions for improvement.

“Bill 1 is supposed to be a hallmark of transparency, according to the premier,” Michael said today. “So we have a suggestion that will increase the transparency for them.”

The Liberals want the members of the first Independent Appointments Commission to be appointed by cabinet. “There’s an obvious problem with that,” says Michael, “so what we are suggesting in our first amendment is that the five members of the commission be selected by an all-party committee of the House.”

The second NDP amendment to the legislation would bring some reflection of the province’s diversity to the various appointments recommended by the commission. The commission will be mandated to recommend appointments through a merit-based process; Michael says that too often, this means that diversity is overlooked.

The NDP is proposing that the committee’s recommendations “shall accurately reflect the province’s society as a whole in terms of gender balance, diversity and regional representation.”

“It is appalling that in 2016, Nalcor’s board, for example, is composed entirely of men,” said Michael. “We’d like to see this new Independent Appointments Commission kick-start a real drive towards equality in appointments.”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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