B.C.’s New Democrats are concerned that a bill to change Vancouver’s charter will be forced through the legislature without proper scrutiny.
An extraordinary sitting of the legislative assembly has been scheduled for noon Saturday to pass a bill to amend the Vancouver Charter and allow the city to borrow up to $458 million for the Olympic Village development.
“They want to ram the bill through quickly,” Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix said Thursday. “Given we’re talking about a potential liability of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money, that seems particularly reckless.”
Vancouver passed a unanimous motion Monday asking to recall the legislature to amend the charter. The amendment would allow the city to borrow large sums of money without asking taxpayers to complete the athletes village at Southeast False Creek.
Bills are traditionally brought before the legislature in a checks-and-balances process that takes a minimum of three days.
To move the bill through all stages in a single day, the speaker of the house will have to approve a government request for a Standing Order 81 to suspend normal legislative procedures.
“We support the legislature being called back to deal with this,” Dix said. “We’re not talking about delaying the bill indefinitely. We are simply saying that we need to take the time to ensure taxpayers are protected.”