Bell ques­tions time­lines for ref­er­en­dum com­mis­sioner

Journal Pioneer - - THE ISLAND - BY RYAN ROSS

Green MLA Han­nah Bell is ques­tion­ing the tight time­lines around hir­ing a ref­er­en­dum com­mis­sioner who is sup­posed to be in place by June 1.

Bell raised the is­sue dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod Thurs­day where she said the time­lines don’t al­low for ad­ver­tis­ing the po­si­tion to the pub­lic.

If the gov­ern­ment abides by the fixed elec­tion date, there is no need for ac­cel­er­ated time­frames, Bell said. “There is ab­so­lutely no rush here.” When Is­lan­ders go to the polls in the next elec­tion, which is sched­uled for 2019, they will also have the chance to vote in a ref­er­en­dum on elec­toral re­form.

Un­der the Ref­er­en­dum Act, as it was re­cently tabled, a com­mis­sioner would be ap­pointed by the leg­isla­tive assem­bly and be in place by June 1.

The leg­isla­tive man­age­ment com­mit­tee would rec­om­mend some­one to the leg­isla­tive assem­bly and two-thirds of MLAs would need to vote in favour of that per­son.

Bell asked Premier Wade MacLauch­lan if he in­structed Lib­eral MLAs to rub­ber stamp a se­lec­tion. MacLauch­lan re­sponded that he hadn’t.

MLAs have yet to vote on the leg­is­la­tion.

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