Houston raises ‘Point of Privilege’; says Legislature should sit virtually through December and January

While the Liberals use every opportunity to hide from questions and scrutiny, PC leader Tim Houston will attempt to return democracy to Nova Scotia this morning by proposing virtual sittings through December and into the new year and asking the Speaker to force the Legislature to resume normal business with a virtual option. 

 

In a “Point of Privilege”, Houston will show that by conducting a brief prorogation ceremony instead of holding a proper fall sitting of the Legislature -- with debate, legislation and Question Period -- the Liberals robbed MLAs of their ability to hold the government to account.

 

In the 282 days since the House sat, lives have been lost and changed.” Houston explained. “Unfortunately, in those 282 days, the Liberal government stripped away the right of MLAs to debate with and ask questions of the government on any of the significant and unprecedented events.”

 

The Leader of the Opposition noted that Nova Scotia was the only legislature in Canada not to have met during the pandemic. 

 

“The Liberals found a way for schools to operate, but not democracy,” Houston said.

 

By proroguing, the McNeil Liberals guaranteed they would not have to answer questions about the:

 

  • Growing mental health crisis;

  • Increase in incidents of domestic violence;

  • Lack of long-term commitment to virtual healthcare;

  • The housing crisis;

  • Shortage of healthcare professionals;

  • Massive surgical waitlists;

  • Needs of our long-term care system;

  • Mental health of our long-term care residents; 

  • Needs of our hospitality sector; and

  • Lack of support for our small and medium businesses, when we know that friends of the Liberals have been able to help large businesses.

 

“The ability to legislate, debate and hold the government to account at Province House is vital to our democracy. And during a pandemic, and as the Liberals claimed “we are all in it together”, Nova Scotians had the right to expect more information and openness from their government,” Houston said. “By hiding, the Liberals failed to meet their obligation to the citizens of Nova Scotia.”