With Liberal Majority gone, Committee structure must change

With the governing Liberals now without a majority of members at province house, the PCs say the Liberals should no longer hold power on committees.

PC MLA Tim Halman introduced a motion Wednesday to adjust the number of committee members from each party to reflect the Legislature’s makeup as it stands right now.

“If you have a majority in the Legislature, it’s fair to argue you should have a majority on the committees,'' says Halman. “But once you’re in a minority situation, committees need to change as well.”

Traditionally, the make-up of committees is a reflection of the makeup of the Legislature. With the departure of MLA Margaret Miller - after Premier Iain Rankin failed to address a senior staffer’s alleged inappropriate and misogynistic behaviour towards her and female MLAs - the Liberals no longer hold a majority.

The Liberals have shown contempt towards committees during their eight years in office, including restricting the scope of questions on the province's finances and failing to convene virtual meetings during the pandemic.

“If the Liberals have nothing to hide, then they’ll make the change,” says Halman. “Unfortunately, we know this government is about secrecy and self-interest, not helping people and getting answers.”

The text of Mr. Halman’s motion is below:

Madam Chair, two recent resignations from the Liberal Caucus fundamentally changed the composition of the Legislature from a majority parliament to a minority government.

In the interests of fairness and equity, I believe the composition of this committee should mirror the minority situation of the legislature. Therefore, I move that the composition of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts be adjusted in the following manner:

The Liberal party would hold the vice-chair position plus three members
The PC Party would hold the chairperson position and two members
The NDP would retain two members.