Sue's Blog

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Public correction of error by Minister King necessary

It's bad enough that Darin King believes the need for a public inquiry rests on his feelings on the investigation when it's over. The Minister, however, outdid himself by proclaiming for all radio-land that he and he alone is the one who decides if an inquiry is called.

I really think it's time we upped the level of what we expect from our elected officials and demand that Minister's understand laws they are referencing in public.

What a disgrace - Darin King on VOCM Back-Talk with Pete Soucy - told all the listening audience that it is he that will make a decision on a public inquiry. It is up to him he states.

Here is part of Section 3 of the Public Inquiries Act

Commissions of Inquiry

     3.(1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order establish a commission of inquiry and report on a matter that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council considers to be a public concern. 
        (2) Where a commission is established under subsection (1), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, in the order, 
        (a) appoint the members of the commission in accordance with section 21;
        (b) establish the jurisdiction of the commission by setting terms of reference for the inquiry;
        (c) designate the Minister responsible for the inquiry; and
        (d) fix a date for the termination of the inquiry and for the delivery of the commission's report.

emphasis added 

It is not only responsible but one would think in keeping with the Minister's Oath of Office that Darin King clear up any errors he may make when explaining anything to the public. 

Not only is it - not his decision to call an inquiry - he may not even be chosen by the Cabinet to be the Minister responsible for the inquiry after it has been called. 

As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians we are going to have to hold our politicians more accountable. It is very difficult to have faith in our government when a Minister of the Crown speaks with authority about a law that he/she clearly does not understand. 

This is what Minister King said:

"Well I guess I decide that if I'm the one that calls the inquiry - ultimately - to be blunt about it. I think the Public Inquiries Act provides that the Minister is the one that makes the call so ultimately I would be the person who had to make the decision."

Please try to reconcile the Act and the Minister words. How long has he been a Minister of the Crown? 

Further to insure the Minister's red herring does not continue - we are not asking that an inquiry actually take place before the current investigation is over. We want a commitment that one will be called.


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