The second reading of the Water Act is now taking place at the Legislature. Getting it to this point represents countless hundred volunteer hours in addition to those compiled in various government departments.
Minister Robert Mitchell must be commended for being committed to public inclusion in formulation of the Act. Unfortunately what is taking place now undermines that process and devalues this foundational piece of legislation. Partisan politics and the manipulation of outdated procedures have made genuine debate impossible.
Opposition MLAs have an abundance of items their constituents want included or excluded in this Act. They don't frame these concerns in the form of an amendment because of the certainty that government MLAs will use their majority to quash it. These MLAs have displayed little interest in this piece of legislation and shown no intention to bring their constituents' issues to the table.
They seem content to follow instructions, get 'er done and get this Act out of the public eye.
It is time to bring a collaborative, representative form of government to P.E.I. There's too much to lose.