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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

Liberals Refuse to Make “Independent Appointments

 

Commission” Independent or the Process Accountable

 

 

 

“Fatal flaws were enshrined in the Ball Liberals’ flagship Independent Appointments Commission legislation after they rejected Opposition proposals to make the commission truly independent and the process more accountable.”

 

 

 

Steve Kent, Opposition Critic for open government, said, “Under the new law, not only will the Cabinet have the power to bypass the commission any time it claims the circumstances are ‘urgent or extenuating,’ but even when it does receive recommendations from the commission, it can ignore those recommendations without telling anyone it has done so.

 

 

 

“Although the Liberals accepted Opposition amendments to require commission members to take an oath of impartiality and to enable them to get advice from persons with expertise, these changes by themselves will be meaningless whenever the Liberals circumvent the commission or ignore its recommendations.

 

 

 

“The Liberals voted down an Opposition amendment to disclose immediately and annually whenever they ignore the commission’s recommendations and appoint someone else.

 

 

 

“They voted down an Opposition amendment to report immediately that an appointment they have made had bypassed the commission because of urgent or extenuating circumstances.

 

 

 

“They voted down an Opposition amendment requiring them to publish an annual independent report card on how they have applied the merit-based principle.

 

 

 

“They rejected Opposition proposals to have an all-party committee of the House, rather than Cabinet, bring forward the names of the Independent Appointments Commission members.

 

 

 

“We could have had the strongest independent appointments commission legislation in Canada. Instead, we have a complete sham that allows the Liberals to appoint anyone they want and pretend the appointments process was independent. According to the Premier, the only way the public will find out about this is if the commission members resign in protest. This isn’t what they promised.”

 

 

 

-30-

 

 

 

Media Contact:

 

Heather MacLean,

 

Director of Communications,

 

Office of the Official Opposition,

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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