Motion to create fixed house of assembly schedule defeated

Brodie Thomas
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Rookie MHA Andrew Parsons’ first motion in the house of assembly was voted down by the governing Progressive Conservatives on May 2.

Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons

The motion would have led to the creation of a fixed house schedule.

The Progressive Conservatives faced criticism for not opening the house of assembly in the fall of 2011 after winning the provincial election.

Opposition parties turned to the media to raise questions about the government’s plans and policies while the house was closed.

Mr. Parsons said he is disappointed the motion was voted down outright.

“I was hoping to generate some constructive debate about the role of the House of Assembly and how we can make it better,” said Mr. Parsons. “I was disappointed that government chose to vote it down rather than propose amendments that would address their concerns.”

Natural Resources Minister and house leader Jerome Kennedy responded to Mr. Parsons’ motion in the house by saying the proposed amendments to the House of Assembly Act would weaken the act by restricting it to certain dates.

The minister noted that under Mr. Parson’s amendments, the house would adjourn before Victoria Day whereas other governments had sat until June 24 or later.

Mr. Parsons countered this, saying the proposed amendments make allowances to keep the house open beyond that date. He said the point of the legislation is to prevent any government from closing down the house at its leisure.

“The reason we are putting this forward is so we can have the fall sitting and we cannot close this house down on a whim,” he said during the debate.

Organizations: Progressive Conservatives

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