Questions By Members, 16 November 2016
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Central pillar of democracy

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question to the Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.

One of the fundamental pillars of democracy, perhaps its central pillar, is that of rule by the majority. Minister, do you agree with that statement?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.

Mr. R. Brown: Mr. Speaker, that has nothing to do with my department.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party.

Dr. Bevan-Baker: I didn’t ask that. I just asked if you agreed with the statement, minister.

Actually, I think I know that you do because on Mainstreet you said this, sir: The MLA or the MP must be responsible to their constituents. I’m a firm believer in that. That’s a direct quote.

Do you feel that as Members of the Legislative Assembly we sit in this House as representatives of the people and that their wishes must be paramount when we vote on issues in this Legislature?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.

Mr. R. Brown: Mr. Speaker, Question Period is to the ministers on their departments.

We’ll have ample opportunity to hear what I believe in in the upcoming debate, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your second supplementary.

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It’s rare that as MLAs we have reliable data about how our constituents feel on a particular issue, but with this plebiscite on electoral reform we have more than a simple opinion poll. Although I did hear the Premier utter three times in Question Period already that we want this government to do things more cheaply to respect taxpayers and to get good value. Perhaps we should have just done a simple opinion poll if we’re going to casually dismiss the results of it as this government seems intent on doing.

Minister, you represent District 11. Your constituents voted over 70% in favour of proportional representation. Will you honour the votes of your constituents by supporting the implementation of proportional representation?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.

Mr. R. Brown: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

This member comes to the Legislature and talks about the rules of the Legislature and how we should follow the rules of the Legislature.

He stands over there sanctimoniously talking about how he represents the people of Prince Edward Island.

I represent my district and the people of Prince Edward Island, but we have a set of rules here in this Legislature that questions to ministers must be relative to their department.

You will have ample opportunity to hear what I feel in the debate when the debate comes up.

From someone who talks about the rules of the Legislature and how we’re not following the rules of the Legislature, his first question to me is about breaking the rules of the Legislature, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you very much.

 

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