Nova Scotia

Legislature ends with no bill to address power rates

The leaders of Nova Scotia's opposition parties said they're disappointed the spring session of the legislature has ended with no decisive action to address increases to power rates.

Spring session wrapped up Thursday sending politicians home for the summer

The spring session lasted 34 days. (Canadian Press)

The leaders of Nova Scotia's opposition parties said they're disappointed the spring session of the legislature has ended with no decisive action to address increases to power rates.

"We have five bills of our own on power rates. None of the have been called. Power rates are skyrocketing and there is no plan to deal with that," said Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie.

The lack of action is also frustrating Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, who called power the biggest issue facing most Nova Scotians today.

Nova Scotia Power applied in early May to increase the price of electricity by three per cent in each of the next two years for its residential customers.

But Government House Leader Frank Corbett said their criticism is simply posturing to win votes before the next election. Corbett said the NDP are simply practicing good government, and not using issues like the HST rollback to put their own party ahead in anticipation of an election.

The session did pass several bills into law. The HST rollback for 2015 passed in the spring sitting.

The government also passed a new law aimed at curbing bullying in schools.

The budget contained several belt-tightening measures that led to layoffs and cutbacks at school boards and hospitals.

Many rules of the House were questioned during the 34-day session.

The Conservatives asked for the MLAs to be allowed to attend some committee meetings virtually, using technology such as Skype. Meetings such as the Human Resources Committee have lasted as little as six minutes in the past.

While all three parties agreed the house rules need to be modernized, none were changed. Corbett said they will look at the rules this summer, and perhaps have some suggestions in place in time for the fall sitting.

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