HALIFAX - NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is disappointed Liberal MLAs blocked an NDP request to have senators appear before the public accounts committee.
In a news release, MacDonald said with the Harper government constantly downloading costs onto the province, it‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúLet‚Äôs face it, decisions made in Ottawa have serious implications on how much money the province has for important programs and services families count on,‚ÄĚ said MacDonald in the news release. ‚ÄúA majority of people have called into question the need for a Senate. I think it‚Äôs only fair we give our senators an opportunity to explain how to their work benefits Nova Scotia taxpayers.‚ÄĚ
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, ‚Äúwe‚Äôve had senators who have led some very important studies.‚ÄĚ
MacDonald said public accounts would give the senators an opportunity to shed some light on these studies.
‚ÄúI appreciate the fact that Liberal and Conservative MLAs have defended the senate in the Nova Scotia Legislature,‚ÄĚ said MacDonald. ‚ÄúBut maybe the time has come to give the senators a chance to come in and defend themselves.‚ÄĚ