B.C. New Democrats introduce legislation to ensure fall sitting

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VICTORIA — New Democrats continued to push for legislative reform by introducing legislation that would ensure there is a fall sitting every year.

“The B.C. Liberal government has consistently chosen to invoke time limits and closure on key pieces of legislation to avoid a fall session and duck accountability,” said New Democrat House Leader John Horgan. “It’s clear that without firm rules in place, the B.C. Liberals will choose to hide from the public, rather than ensuring we are passing the best legislation, and they are being accountable for their actions.”

This bill has been introduced twice before by members of the Opposition after the government chose to cancel the fall session. The B.C. legislature only sat for a total of 36 days in 2013, the fewest number of days in any year since 2001.

In addition to the Parliamentary Calendar Act introduced Thursday, Horgan also put forward the Standing Committee Reform Act on Feb. 27 that would see an increase in the number of legislative committees, expand their mandates, set minimum standards for meeting, and have them report directly to the legislature.

“It’s wrong to rush through legislation, and drop the ball on important issues just so the government can hide from tough questions,” said Horgan. “The public deserves better – and New Democrats will continue to make constructive suggestions that will improve democracy for British Columbians.”