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NDP proposes to 'fix' committee system

New Democrat house leader John Horgan introduced a private member’s bill Thursday to reform what he says is the legislature’s broken standing committee system.

The Standing Committee Reform Act would increase the number of committees, expand their mandates, set minimum standards for meeting, and have them report directly to the legislature.

Horgan says standing committees have the ability to do important work.

“For example The Select Standing Committee on Finance does excellent work but there are standing committees that are struck every parliament and have not met for the better part of a decade," says Horgan.

“It’s inconceivable that at a time when our treaty process is stalled that the select standing committee on Aboriginal Relations hasn’t met since 2001.”

Horgan’s bill adds select standing committees on agriculture, arts and culture and forestry, in addition to the eight already constituted.

“This is about making our democracy better and more responsive,” says Horgan.

“Giving the committees more meaningful work could have the added benefit of reducing the cynicism and apathy we often hear about our democratic process. I am hopeful the Liberals will give it their support so we can make the legislature work more effectively on behalf of British Columbians.”

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