Legislative Report (28 March 2007)

The NDP Refuse to Answer Legitimate Questions

"We enjoyed it actually on our side of the house.”
- Pat Atkinson, NDP Cabinet Minister

This week, the NDP auditioned for a role its members richly deserve. Instead of adhering to generations of parliamentary tradition that sees ministers answering questions posed to government, the NDP is now asking questions of itself.

It’s a bizarre attempt by a tired, old government to deflect attention from a matter it has no intention of discussing. That matter is the $275,000 made to Murdoch Carriere, a long time civil servant who was convicted of assault and fired for harassment. For weeks, the Saskatchewan Party has been asking how it came to pass that a man who should have been dismissed was compensated so richly. And why is it that the women involved—the actual victims of the harassment—received far less in compensation.

And now, the victims are coming forward with their own statements. They’re asking why their complaints about harassment in the workplace were ignored for so long. They want to know why, when their concerns were brought forward, supervisors who should have protected them dismissed the whole thing saying “that’s just Murdoch”.

These are questions the NDP simply does not want to answer. So, they valiantly soldier on in their untenable position. They continue to ignore the problem and lash out at those who raise it.

The Legislative Assembly is a place where the people, and their duly elected representative, can hold their government accountable. Questions must be answered directly, or those wielding power will suffer the consequences.

The NDP has much to answer for. It has introduced a budget that dramatically increases spending by nine per cent over-all, yet it has failed to address the serious issue of rural school closures. The estimated expenses for Saskatchewan Agriculture have been slashed by $68 million. The budget contains a highways announcement that is more about politics than it is about fixing potholes in the road. And the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses has started its own ad campaign, because the budget contains money for only a handful of training positions for medical professionals.

And yet the answers never come. No answers on the budget. No answers on the Carriere case. The NDP is showing contempt for the Legislature and contempt for the people of this province

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

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