Transparency, accountability still needed

Staff ~ Advertiser
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Dear Editor:

According to an article that appeared in the Nov. 26, 2009 edition of the Advertiser, the chairman of the Members Compensation Review Committee, Mr. Joe O'Neill stated, " I think the single biggest gap in what we have now is a lack of appreciation by the public of this province, by the electorate, of the role and responsibilities, the duties, that are served by the 48 elected officials in this House of Assembly."

What on earth can Mr. O'Neill be thinking? Has he taken leave of his senses? The whole reason there is a Members Compensation Review Committee is the shameful behaviour of past and present members of the House of Assembly. The people of this province know that a MHAs constituency allowance is not to be used for such things as, alcohol, donations, personal items or double billing to name a few.

Dear Editor:

According to an article that appeared in the Nov. 26, 2009 edition of the Advertiser, the chairman of the Members Compensation Review Committee, Mr. Joe O'Neill stated, " I think the single biggest gap in what we have now is a lack of appreciation by the public of this province, by the electorate, of the role and responsibilities, the duties, that are served by the 48 elected officials in this House of Assembly."

What on earth can Mr. O'Neill be thinking? Has he taken leave of his senses? The whole reason there is a Members Compensation Review Committee is the shameful behaviour of past and present members of the House of Assembly. The people of this province know that a MHAs constituency allowance is not to be used for such things as, alcohol, donations, personal items or double billing to name a few.

It is the politicians and Mr. O'Neill that need to be educated on the role, duties and responsibilities of a MHA, not the people of this province.

Chief Justice Derek Green was commissioned to write a report on the MHA spending scandal. From this report Justice Green states, "Transparency and accountability are the building blocks of public confidence."

That being the case, why, did Mr. O'Neill allow MHAs to meet with the committee behind closed doors? Why were Mr. ONeill and the other two members of the Review Committee puzzled by the public's negative reaction to closed-door meetings? The committee is out of touch with reality. The public knows that things done by politicians in secret, shields them from being held accountable. Why are the MHAs that did appear before the Committee afraid to make public their presentations? What do they have to hide?

According to the article, MHA Kelvin Parsons, wanted the committee to amend one of its recommendations on allowances. Mr. Parsons said if the politicians did it, the public may think the MHAs were trying to pull a fast one.

It seems politicians are still trying to dodge transparency and accountability.

Three central politicians made secret presentations to the Review Committee. Mr. Ray Hunter, Mr. Clayton Forsey and Mr. Wade Verge from Lewisporte. Perhaps, in the interest of transparency and accountability the Advertiser could contact these politicians and see if they would agree to printing their closed door presentations in the newspaper.

Doug Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

Organizations: Members Compensation Review Committee, Dear Editor

Geographic location: Lewisporte

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Recent comments

  • JAMES
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    taxpayers pay these idiots and they want to do meetings behind close doors, to find ways how to scam taxpayers? why are not more people speaking out on this? politicians are crooks. what else can i say, wake up people!

  • JAMES
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    good letter doug. you mentioned accountability, but its a little early for an april fools joke isn't it. the only time these overpayed politicians want something from residents is at election time seeking a vote so they can sit on there butts and plan a way how to collect a fat pension. they couldn't care less about anything else and thats the bottom line. in-closing: merry christmas and all the best for 2010.

  • JAMES
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    taxpayers pay these idiots and they want to do meetings behind close doors, to find ways how to scam taxpayers? why are not more people speaking out on this? politicians are crooks. what else can i say, wake up people!

  • JAMES
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    good letter doug. you mentioned accountability, but its a little early for an april fools joke isn't it. the only time these overpayed politicians want something from residents is at election time seeking a vote so they can sit on there butts and plan a way how to collect a fat pension. they couldn't care less about anything else and thats the bottom line. in-closing: merry christmas and all the best for 2010.