B.C. Liberals say that on Monday in the legislature, they proposed a simple amendment that would ensure government accountability to the public, on a bill that otherwise gives the NDP the ability to unilaterally make decisions without public scrutiny. On Tuesday, the NDP voted down this amendment.
“It is unacceptable that the NDP would reject an opportunity to keep the government accountable to British Columbians. Without our amendment, the NDP are dismissing the entire democratic process of decision making. There is no way we can support this bill,” said Michael Lee, Opposition Critic for Attorney General, on Tuesday. “The pandemic is no excuse for removing government accountability and keeping British Columbians in the dark.”
Bill 19 addresses legal problems that arose from the government’s COVID-19 response and the resulting emergency orders. Without the proposed amendment that was rejected today by the NDP, the legislation increases the government’s power and will allow important decisions to be made without full public transparency.
“The BC Liberals fully support public health efforts and a strong response to COVID-19 and we must have measures that allow government to respond quickly to a crisis. However, government decisions also need to include the opportunity for public scrutiny and accountability,” said Lee. “Today’s legislation, does the complete opposite as it allows the NDP to consolidate more power without public scrutiny and make vital decisions behind closed doors.”