Dex­ter plans no action to clean up mem­bers’spending

Cape Breton Post - - OBITUARIES/NEWS -

HAL­I­FAX (CP) — Premier Dar­rell Dex­ter said Mon­day that he doesn’t in­tend to move ahead uni­lat­er­ally with leg­isla­tive re­forms in the wake of Nova Sco­tia’s spending scan­dal.

Dex­ter said he in­tends to meet with both op­po­si­tion leaders fol­low­ing his re­turn from talks be­tween Cana­dian pre­miers and U.S. gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

He said he will want in­put from all par­ties as his gov­ern­ment moves to re­form leg­isla­tive mem­bers’ ex­pense al­lowance spending once the leg­is­la­ture re­con­venes March 25.

“ Very early on I said that there had to be re­form and what we are looking for is the best pos­si­ble sys­tem that will work for every­one and one that we can do as quickly as pos­si­ble,” Dex­ter said from Wash­ing­ton dur­ing a speak­er­phone con­fer­ence with re­porters.

He said any­thing that would ad­vance trans­parency and open­ness is some- thing that all sides should be able to dis­cuss.

Ear­lier this month, the prov­ince’s au­di­tor gen­eral re­leased a three-year au­dit that cited nu­mer­ous ex­am­ples of in­ap­pro­pri­ate and ex­ces­sive spending and high­lighted the need to strengthen vague rules and in­ad­e­quate over­sight.

In re­sponse, Dex­ter has al­ready said that the all-party board that ad­min­is­ters leg­is­la­ture mem­bers’ al­lowances will be dis­banded in favour of a more mod­ern and open com­mis­sion that will meet pub­licly.

He said an­other key to clean­ing up the sys­tem will be in­creased sup­port around the ad­min­is­tra­tion of spending rules, whether it’s through a sep­a­rate ad­min­is­tra­tive body or a beefed up Speaker’s Of­fice.

“Hav­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate ad­min­is­tra­tion that is trans­par­ent ... I think frankly that’s one of the big pieces of the change that needs to be made.” HAL­I­FAX (CP) — Po­lice say a 16-year-old boy faces charges in con­nec­tion with a rob­bery in the Hal­i­fax area by two peo­ple armed with knives.

RCMP say the pair ap­proached an 18-year-old man in Lower Sackville on Sun­day af­ter­noon. The vic­tim suf­fered mi­nor in­juries. Po­lice say the 16-year-old sus­pect was ar­rested later Sun­day.

He faces charges in­clud­ing rob­bery, as­sault caus­ing bod­ily harm, ut­ter­ing threats, pos­ses­sion of a weapon and breach­ing a re­cog­ni­zance.

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