Furious Tories boycott all committees

The Progressive Conservative party has pulled the trigger on a boycottof all government committees in protest of what one member is calling a“parliamentary dictatorship.”

The Progressive Conservative party has pulled the trigger on a boycott of all government committees in protest of what one member is calling a “parliamentary dictatorship.”

Tory MLA Cecil Clarke walked out of a Public Accounts Committee meeting on Wednesday after the NDP majority voted to strike an appearance by Nova Scotia Gaming Corp oration executives from next week’s agenda.

Clarke had choice words on Thursday, saying the government “has something to hide” and “the NDP don’t give a damn about openness and accountability.”

Clarke said it’s basically pointless for opposition members to show up to committees since the premier’s office is going to manipulate the schedule to suit its agenda. The boycott began on Thursday when no Tories appeared at a Veteran’s Affairs meeting.

Premier Darrell Dexter dismissed the fuss, saying there was nothing to be upset with. He said scheduling has been handled the same way as when the Tories had a majority.

Clarke lashed out at that assessment, saying, “If Darrell would get his head out of his arse and actually look,” he’d see his party is running amok with the process.

Clarke said the boycott will continue at least until the Tory caucus next meets and decides where to go from there.

The Liberals are also angry with the last-minute scheduling change, but have chosen not to protest meetings. Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil instead requested a meeting of all three leaders to work out the conflict.

Dexter told reporters his door is always open to the other leaders.

NDP members of the committee argued they were cancelling the Gaming Corporation appearance because it was more urgent to discuss the auditor general’s last report. Opposition parties tried to have both issues discussed but were out-voted.

Liberal Keith Colwell speculated the NDP was trying to avoid questions on a problem gambling study it quashed and refused to make public.

Complaints
Tory MLA Cecil Clarke has several other complaints with the NDP, most notably accusing them of making the speaker’s office a “puppet of the premier’s office.”

 
 
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