NDP Blocks Meaningful Work on Legislature Committee

EDMONTON, AB: Last week, NDP members of the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship voted down a UCP motion that would allow the committee to meet with stakeholders.

UCP Committee Member and MLA for Grande Prairie-Smoky Todd Loewen introduced the motion because under the rules of the Committee, it cannot undertake any activities other than the task it has been assigned, even if those activities would help accomplish that task.

“It is unreasonable to make these stakeholders groups wait years to meet with this committee,” said Loewen. “We often have months between meetings, giving us plenty of time to listen to these groups. Their input would no doubt help us do our jobs in an effective and efficient manner.”

The purpose of each standing committee is to review bills and policies that are referred to them by the Legislative Assembly or to consider issues that fall within their mandate. Consultation with stakeholders would help inform committee members as they go about their work to craft thoughtful recommendations for changes to government legislation and policy.

A transcript of the discussion and recorded vote can be found here.

“These groups have wanted to meet with us for over 2 years and I’m embarrassed when I see them at functions or events and they ask why the Committee won’t see them,” said UCP Committee Member and MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti Wayne Drysdale. “There is simply no reason why the Committee should not engage with interested stakeholders in an effort to help us do the best job we can for Albertans.”

“This refusal to meet with stakeholders as part of the Committee’s work is incredibly disrespectful and yet another example of an arrogant NDP government that thinks it knows best,” said UCP Committee Member and MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills Dave Hanson. “The NDP committee members would do well to remember that we work for all Albertans and that in order to do our jobs well, we must listen.