Liberals reverse intent of NDP motion; caucus votes “nay”
A government amendment completely reversed the original intent of an NDP private member’s motion, so NDP MHAs found themselves in the unusual position of being forced to vote “nay” on their own Private Member’s Day. House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) had tabled the motion, which would have given all members of the House a chance to vote against the Liberal Levy.
“The Minister of Education took some time out from closing libraries and increasing class sizes to submit an amendment that substantively changed the intent of our original motion,” Michael said.
“We had no choice but to vote against the amended motion. We wanted the Levy eliminated immediately – not at some nebulous future time, when this government thinks it’s okay.”
The NDP House Leader is also appalled that government inserted the word “temporary” into the private member’s motion.
“The government has already been as clear as it can be that it thinks calling the levy temporary makes it better. Our position is that the levy is unfair, and should not be imposed on the people, even on a temporary basis,” she said.
“This amendment says it's OK to impose this unfair levy on a temporary basis. We did not bring forward a Private Members' Motion to maintain the status quo on the levy, which is exactly what the amendment does.”
Michael and St. John’s Centre NDP MHA Gerry Rogers voted against the motion as amended by government.