Shortened Legislative Session means less accountability for Moe government
SASKATOON - The Sask. Party government announced today that it does not intend to recall the legislature until April 6th, several weeks later than is normal for the spring session. The short sessions means less opportunity for public scrutiny of the government’s COVID-19 response and very little time to debate any legislation besides the provincial budget.
“Bringing MLAs back to work nearly a month late does a disservice to all the people of this province,” said NDP House Leader Vicki Mowat. “They are trying to use this terrible pandemic to ram through legislation with little debate, and at the same time avoid as many questions as possible on the failing COVID-19 response. Saskatchewan deserves better.”
Mowat noted that with Phase 2 of the provincial vaccine rollout anticipated to begin in April that there should be an opportunity for legislative oversight before this phase begins. If the government insists on a shorter session then the Human Services Committee must be convened to scrutinize the pandemic response and the vaccine plan which currently has significant gaps and leaves many at-risk populations behind.
“The Sask. Party had to be dragged kicking and screaming into an emergency session to discuss the pandemic in the summer and managed to get out of the very short fall session without introducing any new supports that would help people get through this pandemic,” said Mowat. “What is the point of delaying the start? Will they all be down in Arizona and Palm Springs? The people of Saskatchewan need help and they need answers.”
The NDP also said that if the government refused to introduce a budget before April then the Finance Minister must release the 3rd Quarter Financial report in advance of the budget. In recent years the Sask Party has presented them together.