Sue's Blog

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bill 29 - Review by Chief Justice Green?

So the PC MHA's are going to shut down debate on Bill 29 - An Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

First of all it's cowardly and very undemocratic. It demonstrates weakness and a complete disrespect for the people of the province.

The above is not exaggerated - it is appropriate considering the law we wish to change.

When such actions are taken by sitting government MHA's one can reasonably conclude that transparency is not atop their agenda and secondly that they are willing to risk a repeat of the criminal fiasco we had the last time a blockage of information occurred.

The history is too recent and the wound is too fresh - the parade of MHA's trotting off to jail.

It appears that Dunderdale and caucus are of the belief - that regardless of the position they take on any subject - they are above debate, above critique, above scrutiny, and essentially above the law.

I say this because the PC's in the House of Assembly will use the legislature to change any law they wish to accommodate their own protection. Further - they are willing to invoke closure when they are ready to silence the opposition members. All MHA's were elected and this is the people's House - not Jerome Kennedy's or Kevin O'Brien's or Tom Marshall's.

The Dunderdale Regime appears certain that if a democracy elects a dictatorship - tough! You elected us to do what we wish when we wish.

You see a mature democracy and intelligent and competent elected Members do not need to ram something down our throats or change the law to hide information on the decision making process. Mature politicians are able to promote their policies and ideas to the people without hiding information they used to make a decision.

You cannot claim democracy - when you only practice it 12 hours every 4 years (election).

Why not advise the multinational companies, multi-millionaires, and the stock market that if you wish to make a fortune on our resources - deals will be subject to public scrutiny. Corporations do not vote - they are not the electorate. We - the people - own the resources  and we deserve as all shareholders do - complete disclosure.

By the way - where is Danny on Bill 29? He will yammer on about the virtues of Muskrat and the "need" for power here and there - yet the purported superhero of accountability and transparency has not commented on this?

How about we let Chief Justice Green review the proposed amendments and publicly report on his findings. He is a man above reproach and somebody that Jerome Kennedy, Tom Marshall, and Felix Collins can trust.

The media, citizens, national and provincial bodies have trouble with Bill 29 - and once again the critique is coming from across the political spectrum.

What is happening in our House of Assembly now is very significant and very scary. What next? It appears that Kent - while sitting as Chair - is intolerant of the opposition and Kennedy is intolerant of the Chair. It appears the current Dunderdale posse is frustrated with the whole idea of the House of Assembly. First she did not really want to open it - and second - only did so it appears to achieve a budget and shut down information.

What other Bills are in our future? A change to funding for the Opposition? A change to Question Period rules? A change to our system? Sure why not - Dunderdale seems prepared to rule by decree and the men and women around her have decided they serve her and not the people.

This Bill should not see the light of day - let alone become law.

Considering the checkered past of MHA behavior and longstanding record of bad deals, corruption, and fleeing business gurus to Panama - please ask that Chief Justice Green officially review Bill 29 and report his findings and recommendations in full to the people.


Judith M.L. Day said...

Bill 29 is very troubling and it is being shoved through the House of Assembly while many Newfoundlanders are enjoying their few days of nice warm weather and are not taking as much notice as they should.
The rest of Canada is taking this bill very seriously as it is definitely a step backward in democracy and will have to be challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada. so yes! get an independant legal review, but for God's sake go outside the justice system system of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cyril Rogers said...

Sue, there is much more to this bill than simply protecting the MHA's from scandal. My concern is that this party and this administration could very well be hiding something much more detrimental to the people of this province or that they plan to do things they do not ever want to be subject to public scrutiny.

We have only to look at their efforts to muzzle dissent on the Muskrat Falls deal to know they don't care about people's right to know. They don't care about the ordinary Joe and it is painfully obvious that some aspects of MF are being hidden from us. Why?

We have entered an age of anti-democratic governance and I am dismayed at the lack of outcry from the general populace. Perhaps, the Harperites and the provincial PC's are right! Maybe, we truly don't care! If so, it may be too late when we wake up to the reality of what they have done and will continue to do over the next three years.