“I have serious concerns on the function of NDP committee chairs and how they complete their duties,” said Richard Starke, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster. “Any chair attempting to influence committee members by sharing partisan information is no longer neutral and must step down.”
Starke raised a point of privilege related to the actions of the Chair after receiving a phone call from her before the weekend. During this call, the Chair inappropriately explained the NDP caucus’ position on work before the committee and asked for the Progressive Conservative caucus’ approach to the same work. This directly violates the role of committee chairs to remain impartial and non-partisan. During the Ethics and Accountability Committee meeting, a number of currently sitting Legislative Committee chairs from the NDP caucus defended these actions.
“The appropriateness of the Chair’s actions have been brought into question a number of times,” said Sandra Jansen, MLA for Calgary-North West. “We have serious concerns regarding her impartiality. These questions raised by all opposition party members in the committee meeting must be addressed if the opposition is going to be able to work in good faith with committee chairs.”