MacDonald disappointed Liberals block senators from appearing at public accounts

January 15, 2014

(Halifax, NS) NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says she is disappointed Liberal MLAs blocked an NDP request to have senators appear before the public accounts committee.

MacDonald says with the Harper government constantly downloading costs onto the province, it’s only appropriate for MLAs to ask what kind of value taxpayers are getting for ten Nova Scotia senators that cost $3.7 million in 2012.

“Let’s face it, decisions made in Ottawa have serious implications on how much money the province has for important programs and services families count on,” said MacDonald. “A majority of people have called into question the need for a Senate. I think it’s only fair we give our senators an opportunity to explain how to their work benefits Nova Scotia taxpayers.”

In early December the NDP introduced a resolution calling on the Nova Scotia government to join Manitoba and Saskatchewan in formally calling for Senate abolition. The Liberals and the Conservatives did not support the motion. Later that same day, during Question Period, Liberal Finance Minister Diana Whalen defended the Senate saying, “we’ve had senators who have led some very important studies,”.

MacDonald says Public Accounts would give the senators an opportunity to shed some light on these studies.

“I appreciate the fact that Liberal and Conservative MLAs have defended the senate in the Nova Scotia Legislature,” said MacDonald. “But maybe the time has come to give the senators a chance to come in and defend themselves.”