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MLAs should get their priorities right and spend time in Legislature
Should we be concerned that NDP leader Adrian Dix is stepping down?
After all, other than the election campaign, he only worked 36 days last year. Slacker. Good riddance.
Hold on. All the other MLAs only worked 36 days last year too.
As you have probably heard by now, the Liberals have decided to cancel the fall sitting of the Legislature to … well, run the province without the pesky annoyance of, in the greatest democracy on earth, doing things democratically. It’s become commonplace for the Liberals to avoid, as much as they can, sitting the Legislature, likely because there the Opposition can ask pointed questions the Liberals would rather not answer. MLAs don’t have to run the gauntlet of those dastardly media types who also ask questions they would rather not answer.
After the Globe and Mail wrote a scathing piece about the cancellation of the fall sitting, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Rustad made the following post on his Facebook page: “The Globe (and me, obviously) seems to think the Leg is a stage for the opposition and the columnists.”
His rationale works because the governing Liberals don’t seem to think the Legislature is a place for them.
It sparked a pretty good debate on his Facebook page.
However, I think the following post from Rustad summed everything up.
“My final word on this topic: Here’s my schedule for next week – Mon. on the road by 5:30 a.m., travel, meeting at 9, UBCM panel on reconciliation at 10, caucus meeting from 9 to 1 p.m., meetings from 2 till 5 then 3+ receptions that I’m expected to drop into going from 5 till 9. Tue, 7:30 to 12:30 Truth and Reconciliation paddle and TRC ceremony, 9 meetings from 1:30 till 5 p.m. then 5+ receptions that I’m supposed to support. Wed, 6:30 a.m. lighting of the sacred fire TRC event, rural caucus meeting 7 to 8:30, 9 meetings, opening ceremonies, luncheon, federal meeting between 9 and 3 p.m., UBCM cabinet panel 3 to 4 then 3+ receptions that I have to attend. Thur, 7 a.m. breakfast meeting then 23 meetings from 9 till 5pm, then 3+ receptions to attend. Fri, 4 meetings, Premier’s speech and a Reconciliation event from 8:30 through 3 p.m. Friday evening I may have to travel to the Island for an event or stay in Vancouver for a reconciliation event. Sat, traveling up the Island for meetings, an announcement and an event. Sun, back to Vancouver for the Truth and Reconciliation events and walk from 9 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.”
Rustad completely misses the point. No one questions that MLAs and certainly cabinet ministers are busy. We’re all busy. The question is whether we’re busy doing the right things.
We elect MLAs to debate and vote on issues facing our province and, at the same time, be held accountable for the decisions they make that affect our lives. Attending functions and meetings is certainly important, but it shouldn’t be the most important part of an MLA’s job.
Representing their constituents in the Legislature should be.