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Thursday, November 29, 2007

ed stelmach invokes closure on bill 46.

As part of his government's priority of Accountability and Transparency for Building Tomorrow's Secure Alberta Future, Ed Stelmach has taken a hold of the reigns of democracy by invoking closure on the debate of controversial Bill 46. Official Opposition MLAs were only given four hours to debate the Bill before Stelmach shut down debate on the Bill.

Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman:

“The Conservatives aren’t even allowing their own members to speak to it,” Blakeman says. “If you think electing a Conservative MLA will put you on the inside of government, you’re wrong. They’re shutting down their people.”

This is the first time the Stelmach government has used closure. The Klein government used closure 38 times in 14 years but it seldom used closure on more than one stage of a bill.

“Stelmach is Klein on steroids,” Blakeman says. “He’s hyper-Klein.”

The Tories introduced amendments to the Bill this week, but a group of central Alberta landowners (including Lacombe-Ponoka Green candidate Joe Anglin) responded with:
In Bill 46, including the new amendments tabled today, if a person is directly and adversely affected by a proposed project the new commission can still make any decision or issue any order without giving notice or holding a hearing if the commission is satisfied the applicant followed the rules respecting each owner of land. No one knows what the rules are in respect to each owner of land and the rules have not been made or defined. What’s troubling is, Bill 46 allows the commission to make rules and regulations that supersede legislation. In essence the new Commission will be able to make rules to circumvent legislation.

Furthermore, the public can have no confidence in Bill 46 if section 24(1) remains. Section 24(1) allows the Commission to make any decision or issue any order without giving notice or holding a hearing if the commission considers the matter urgent or for any other sufficient reason. Simply stated citizens have no right to notice or to a hearing in Bill 46. Finally, in Sec 9(4) the Commission does not have to afford an opportunity to a person to be represented by counsel.


Matt Grant said...

As partisan as I am, I don't know if I like the "hyper Klein" invocation.

Anonymous said...

No kidding. Must be a nice fantasyland to live in, where Alberta Liberals can start everyday anew, without regard to what they said previously.

First, Stelmach was unsteady, and a ditherer, and "...he's no Ralph Klein" (that latter bit from Dr. Doom himself).

Now, Stelmach is "Klein on steroids". And he rules with an "Iron Fist".

I am just waiting for the Putin references to come. Where is Bharat Agnihotri when you need him? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "hyper-Klein" is a dumb line. Probably someone thought it would seem clever, but it really doesn't work.

However, in response to anonymous, the line is actually "They've come in with an iron fist on this one" which is a little different from saying Stelmach rules with an iron fist.

However, all of this is distracting from the real issue: the government has an unpopular bill, they want to get the hell out of the legislature and as a result they're imposing closure. So much for the PCs' committment to doing things differently.

Bart said...

How much more time do the opposition MLA's need to complain/whine? I don't know if I could take them for four hours... might be different if they actually knew how to debate!

Sometimes you just have to get the job done. But Liberals don't know much about that.