May 5, 2017
For Immediate Release

Opposition Demands Liberals Respect Independent Recommendations to Restore Financial Integrity of MHA Pension Plan

Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition, is suggesting that the Liberal Caucus respect the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act by accepting the recommendations for MHA Pension Plan reform as recommended by the independent, arm’s-length Members’ Compensation Review Committee (MCRC).

Davis has written to the Speaker and other members of the House of Assembly Management Commission, asking that a meeting be convened immediately to address the issue.

At the last meeting of the Management Commission, the Government House Leader brought forward an alternative set of recommendations developed by the Liberal Caucus to modify the MHA Pension Plan in ways that varied significantly from those recommended by the independent MCRC.

Davis said Mr. Justice Green was adamant in his 2007 report that public confidence in the integrity of the House of Assembly would not be restored unless MHA benefits are determined by a body that is independent of MHAs and operating at arm’s length from elected officials.

In his report – in which he used the word “independent” more than 100 times – Green stated: “It is time to return to a more principle-based system. The need to rebuild public confidence requires it. As has been stressed many times throughout this report, transparency and accountability are essential to the maintenance of public confidence. A compensation-setting process that is engaged in under a veil of secrecy, by people who make the decision in the context of a conflict of self-interest and public duty, will not pass muster. An independent review process that takes place in the light of public scrutiny is the least that is required.”

Davis said, “The Liberal Caucus proposal does not meet the standard that Mr. Justice Green established. There is no provision in the Act for any process other than the one laid out in section 16 to make recommendations on MHA pensions. Any other process is out of line.”

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

Link to 2007 Green Report