- With no involvement from the Green Party, the Progressive Conservatives and Liberals will choose a group of six people to draw the riding boundaries for the next election in New Brunswick.
- Interim Liberal leader Roger Melanson refused to comment on the meeting but denied that his party was involved in any plot or misconduct.
The Progressive Conservatives and Liberals will pick a group of six people to draw the riding boundaries for the next election in New Brunswick, with no input from the Green Party.
Green MLA Kevin Arseneau accused the two traditional parties of ” collusion after his party’s suggestions for candidates to sit on the electoral boundaries commission were not chosen, Green MLA Kevin Arseneau accused the two traditional parties of “collusion.”
He stated, “It undermines the entire process.”
“It erodes public faith in the legitimacy of our position as legislators and the institutions we have in place.”
Members of the commission must be chosen by the Legislative Administration Committee (LAC) before being nominated by the cabinet, according to the rules controlling the drafting of electoral boundaries. Arseneau claims that the premier’s chief of staff, Louis Leger, asked his party for a list of prospective members a few weeks ago so that they might be evaluated. However, they declined, claiming that the law did not mention the executive council’s evaluation of potential commissioners.
Arseneau said the LAC accepted a list of six members who are “extremely related to political parties,” including a former premier when the committee convened on Thursday. His attempts to add either of the two candidates recommended by the Greens to the commission were defeated.
“It was very evident that the premier’s office and Louis Leger chose the members of this commission through back-door arrangements with the official opposition,” he claimed.
“We refused to play the back-door game; we stated that we would follow the legal process and were penalized.”
Speaker Bill Oliver cut Arseneau off from raising the issue on the floor of the Legislature for disclosing the debates of LAC, which meets under closed doors and whose decisions are kept secret.
Interim Liberal leader Roger Melanson would comment on what happened at the meeting but claimed that his party was involved in any conspiracy or wrongdoing. He stated that they gave the names when Leger requested them, claiming that the two traditional parties have just always worked together in the past. Every ten years, the electoral borders law requires that the ridings be revised. When the lines need to be changed, this is the first time that more than one party is represented in the Legislature.
Melanson stated, “LAC made a decision.” “I believe in the commission’s ability to execute its job well.” They’re well-educated and trustworthy.”
According to Arseneau, the PCs and Liberals on the committee could cooperate in drawing the ridings in a manner that disadvantages the Greens because of how the process developed.
While Premier Blaine Higgs acknowledged that not having a single Green Party member on the commission might undermine public confidence, he claims that this is how the process has traditionally unfolded and also that the PCs would gain no electoral advantage by undermining the Green Party’s electoral impact.
Higgs stated, “I don’t see any justification for us to be doing it.”
But, as Arseneau points out, the way the process has developed makes it too simple to cast doubt on the final product.
He stated, “There will always be a doubt now.” “And that’s simply inexcusable.”
Source: Global News
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