New dog up to same tricks on political appointments: Opposition

Opposition parties are again criticizing the process for political appointments, only this time the colours have changed.

 

Opposition parties are again criticizing the process for political appointments, only this time the colours have changed.

 

Yesterday, the provincial human resources committee ratified 24 appointees and, as has always been the case, some had ties to the governing party. For example, Justin McDonough, son of former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough, was appointed to the Trade Centre Ltd. board.

 

The committee only approves the final candidate and cannot see who was beaten out in the running, a practice the Liberals have been trying to get changed.

 

“Anything I know about Justin, everybody’s spoken very highly of him. I don’t have any problem with that. It’s just that we don’t know how he stacks up against the other people who may have applied,” said Liberal committee member Kelly Regan.

While in opposition, the NDP also railed against the current system and asked to make public a full list of candidates. Now in power, the party said it will consider changing the system but hasn’t committed to anything yet.

Things came to a head at yesterday’s meeting when Liberals tried to delay the appointment of Michael Coyle as chair of the elections committee.

Liberals said Coyle’s resumé only went up to 2007 and he appeared to be getting paid as a lawyer to advise the NDP caucus. The NDP rejected the motion and appointed Coyle.

Committee chair Becky Kent said the NDP caucus hadn’t been financially involved with Coyle for more than a year. Kent said the Liberal motion was defeated because it’s not the job of the committee to scrutinize candidates.

“The mandate of the committee is not to micro-manage to that degree. The mandate of the committee is to ensure the process has been fair and accurate,” Kent said.

Tory Leader Karen Casey said she supports the current system but requests for more information should be accepted to ensure a fair process.

 
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