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Friday, January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016

For Immediate Release

 

Liberals Use Consultation Process They Previously Mocked To Avoid Making Decisions Urgently Needed

 

Steve Kent, the Critic on Open Government issues for the Official Opposition, said, “The Liberals are abusing the public consultation process they mocked while in opposition to avoid making decisions that are urgently needed.”

 

While in opposition in the House on May 4, 2015, the current Finance Minister and then Finance Critic said (echoing her colleague) that: “The Office of Public Engagement is a worthless PR exercise.” On May 5, 2015, she said: “The Office of Public Engagement has become known as the department that uses clickers.”

 

Kent said, “Ironically, after mocking the Office of Public Engagement as a ‘worthless PR exercise’, the Liberals are now using the office for that very purpose by starting consultations that will not be completed in time to inform the 2016 Budget when long-range decisions are required.”

 

“We established the Office of Public Engagement to give the public a meaningful role in decision-making and ensure the right decisions got made, not to delay or dodge responsibility for making choices that are urgently needed. The Liberals are distorting the very idea of consultative decision-making and disrespecting the people whose input they claim to be valuing,” said Kent.

 

“While the Liberals on January 12 made their consultation initiative sound like a groundbreaking approach, in reality their consultation booklet and their January-February schedule of meetings are almost identical to those used by previous governments year after year. The difference this year is that the process won’t have an end date early enough to allow people’s input to shape the long-term planning that the 2016 Budget requires.”

 

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Media Contact:

Heather MacLean

Director of Communications Office of the Official Opposition

(709) 729 6105

heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

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