Aylward releases discussion paper on legislative reform

STRATFORD  – Reforming and modernizing the Legislative Assembly is the focus of a public discussion paper that Opposition Leader James Aylward released today.  After back and forth discussions through the media on the desire for changes, Aylward believes the public should have an opportunity to weigh in on the conversation.

 “I believe in strengthening and modernizing our democratic institutions. That’s why on behalf of our PC Caucus I am releasing this discussion paper to fuel public discussion about how we can modernize our Legislature and give Islanders the most effective and inclusive governance possible. I’ve asked for a full review of the Rules of the Legislative Assembly by the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges that includes public engagement. Islanders elect the people who sit in the House so they should have a voice in the rules of the House also,” said Aylward.

Aylward today released Modernizing the House: Moving Towards A More Efficient and Inclusive Assembly, a discussion paper on possible reforms to how the Legislative Assembly operates. The discussion paper outlines initiatives that would update House procedures, introduce innovative legislative reforms, and strengthen accountability measures such as:

  • A defined Legislative Calendar to improve review of budgets and legislation and improve efficient operation of the House;
  • A Code of Conduct for MLA’s and Legislative Assembly staff;
  • More equity in party membership on legislative committees and secret ballot elections for committee chairs;
  • Accepting electronic petitions from the public;
  • Greater use of open data practices to share public information with the public ;

Aylward noted that several legislative reforms championed by his caucus over the last three years have been implemented, including audio recordings and live streaming of legislative committees and clarification of the role of the Speaker. Other legislative reforms such as increased accountability for responses to Written Questions and expanded use of open data practices remain works in progress.“This discussion paper is part of our contribution to a collaborative conversation with Islanders about how we govern ourselves. I’m looking forward to hearing what Islanders think about these proposals and other ideas that maybe haven’t been considered yet,” said Aylward.

The Opposition discussion paper on legislative reform can be found here.

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