December 8, 2022
Higgs government is running roughshod over authority of Legislative Assembly
FREDERICTON – The Higgs government is following in the footsteps of the Gallant government by severely restricting the work of the Legislative Assembly. Not only has it embraced the short legislative sessions established by the former Gallant government, but it is also severely limiting debate on legislation. The Second Reading and Committee stages of lawmaking have been dramatically curtailed for five bills, while debate at Third Reading for these and other bills has been eliminated.
“The Premier’s decision to limit debate on controversial bills such as amendments to the NB Museum Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act, and the Residential Tenancies Act is undemocratic and runs roughshod over the authority of the Legislative Assembly,” said Green Party Leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon. “We saw the same thing when the Gallant government rammed through the bill that broke up public health, and distributed pieces of it to other departments after they fired Dr. Eilish Cleary.”
“The constraint imposed by this government on our work as representatives of the people betrays a blatant disrespect for the seat of our democracy, the Legislative Assembly,” said the Green House Leader and MLA for Kent North Kevin Arseneau. “It doesn’t matter whether it is Tories or Liberals in power. They take turns going through the motions of the democratic process, but when it is inconvenient for them, they shut it all down.”
“New Brunswickers elect us as MLAs to work on their behalf to ensure that laws that are being created have been carefully thought through, and improved when necessary, in order to benefit the common good,” said Megan Mitton, the Green MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar. “The sense of entitlement the Premier feels about getting his way, just like the Premier before him, means he sees the Legislature as a barrier to carrying out his agenda.”