Rogers still waiting for written copy of policy
NDP Caucus Chair Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) is still waiting for Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Burke to respond to a request made in an August letter.
Since late last year, MHAs and their staff have been unable to contact public servants directly when a constituent has a concern. Rather, they have been told they must funnel their inquiries through cabinet ministers’ executive assistants.
“I wrote to Minister Burke on Aug. 14, and again on Aug. 23, to ask for a written copy of this policy,” said Rogers. “My constituent assistant has asked the department for this policy as far back as Jan. 6, but we have seen nothing.
“This policy interferes with our work as MHAs,” Rogers said. “Obviously, it slows down the process and we find ourselves telling desperate people they will have to wait longer for answers. Remember, these are often people in very urgent situations – they are about to become homeless, or they need emergency food.
“I also have grave, grave concerns about the privacy implications. Constituents have a right to expect that their MHAs will act on their behalf and that their personal information will not be shared unnecessarily.
“I am astounded that we have been requesting a written copy of this policy since January and have not received it.”
Rogers says her request should be simple enough to comply with. “If the policy exists, just send us a copy of it,” she said. “I know Minister Burke is a busy woman, but how hard can this be?”