NDP proposes stakeholder engagement process and non-partisan Economic Recovery Committee



For immediate release

May 1, 2020

NDP proposes stakeholder engagement process and non-partisan Economic Recovery Committee

NDP Leader Alison Coffin has provided Premier Dwight Ball with the NDP Caucus’s proposed approach for moving forward with economic recovery in Newfoundland and Labrador. Coffin says she envisions the NDP’s proposed motion being introduced when the House of Assembly sits on May 5.

Coffin says as the three parties have been positively and productively engaged in a collaborative Joint Public Health Response Committee for the past six weeks to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the economic recovery plan for the province similarly requires a non-partisan and collaborative approach that would engage representatives from all Parties and Independents as well as draw on the expertise of a variety of stakeholders.

The NDP’s motion calls for the House of Assembly to establish a Select Committee on Economic Recovery to work on behalf of, and report directly to, the House of Assembly with a mandate to review and make recommendations on restarting, repairing, and restructuring the socio-economic circumstances of our province for the benefit of all its people.

“Our province was already facing a serious economic crisis before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin to recover and learn to live with COVID-19, we will need a thorough, coordinated, and non-partisan plan to get the economy running again as well as address pre-existing underlying economic problems,” said Coffin.

Coffin says this proposed Committee would solicit expert input and advice from stakeholders representing all aspects of our society and economy including leaders from labour, not-for-profits/civil society, industry, small business, academia, and all levels of government, through various transparent and appropriate engagement mechanisms both in-person and online.

“Involving all Parties and seeking expert input and advice from our stakeholders is a smarter, more equitable, and better approach than hiring a single consultant who reports only to government,” said Coffin.

“We have endeavored to make our proposal inclusive, collaborative, and meaningful,” said Coffin. “The most important facet, from our perspective, is that we strive to work together on a socio-economic recovery approach that is best for our province.”

Coffin says the NDP Caucus is open to other ways of introducing this Committee, and the envisioned stakeholder engagement and advisory process, to the legislature, noting it does not necessarily need to be advanced in the House as a Private Member’s Motion.

Coffin says she looks forward to a more fulsome discussion on the proposal and starting the work of economic recovery when the House of Assembly sits on May 5.

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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca

Background

Proposed Private Member’s Motion

Moved by the Member for

Whereas the province was facing a serious economic crisis even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and COVID-19 restrictions have further crippled the economy, negatively affecting the incomes and livelihoods of many people, businesses, and organizations;

And whereas as pandemic restrictions ease, we will need a thorough, coordinated and non-partisan plan to get the economy running again as well as address pre-existing underlying economic problems;

Therefore be it resolved that this House establish a Select Committee on Economic Recovery to work on behalf of, and report directly to, the House of Assembly with a mandate to review and make recommendations on restarting, repairing, and restructuring the socio-economic circumstances of our province for the benefit of all its people;

Be it further resolved that this Committee solicit expert input and advice from stakeholders representing all aspects of our society and economy including leaders from labour, not-for-profits/civil society, industry, small business, academia, and all levels of government, through various transparent and appropriate engagement mechanisms both in-person and online;

Be it further resolved that, as this Committee needs to be and must be seen to be non-partisan in nature, the Committee consist of the following: two members of Government, two members of the Official Opposition, two members of the Third Party, and one Independent member, and that the Chair of the Committee be elected from within;

Or

Be it further resolved that, as this Committee needs to be and must be seen to be non-partisan in nature, the Committee consist of the following: the Premier, the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Leader of the Third Party, one additional representative of each of their respective Parties, and three additional MHAs, one each to be chosen by the Premier and two Leaders respectively, and that the Chair of the Committee be elected from within;

Be it further resolved that the Committee consider forming a multi-sector advisory body comprised of experts/leaders from labour, not-for-profits/civil society (including representatives of groups working to support women, youth, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations), with the Terms of Reference and operating procedures for this body to be established by the Committee; and

Be it further resolved that this House consider how to ensure that the Select Committee has the resources it needs to conduct its work.

Seconded by the Member for

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