Tired of waiting for the governing Conservatives to release their budget, the provincial Liberals called for fixed budget and legislature dates yesterday.
“It provides clarity and certainty to the very institutions that we depend on for our health care, for the education of our children and for the services we most cherish,” McNeil said during a press conference at the legislature.
He proposes the legislature sit by the second Monday of February every year, with a budget to be presented by the third Tuesday in February. The fall sitting of the house would begin the first Monday in October.
“How are we expecting school boards, for example, to deal with issues of staffing today when they don’t know what their budget’s going to be,” he said.
The Liberals and NDP have repeatedly called on the MacDonald Tories to recall the house and release this year’s budget. They’ve accused the government of stalling for political reasons.
The Tories, who announced yesterday the legislature would resume sitting on April 30, say they’re waiting for all the information to come in before moving with a budget.
But NDP Leader Darrell Dexter didn’t back the Liberal proposal yesterday. He said fixed dates were unnecessarily rigid, and if there’s any deadline it should be to have the budget out by the end of the fiscal year.
“I think tying the hands of the government that way is really of questionable value. What they should be committed to is making sure that there’s a budget before the house in a timely fashion,” Dexter said.