P.E.I. PC Party pledges updates to legislative assembly
'Our goal is to make the legislative process more receptive to the needs of Islanders'
P.E.I. PC Leader Dennis King is suggesting a series of reforms he says will update the workings of the legislature.
The Progressive Conservatives continue to make pledges in their bid to win the provincial election April 23.
"Our politics feels like it's never been more divisive, and that has to change," King said in a written release Monday.
"It's important for us to encourage a spirit of collaboration, inclusiveness and respect within the political process. We feel a few updates to the process will support that goal."
Independent child advocate
King said the PC Party would establish an annual sitting calendar designed to improve how the legislature operates, similar to one used by the House of Commons.
King also promised if elected, a PC government would allow free and open election of committee chairs and deputy chairs on standing committees, require timely responses to written questions, and require ministers to answer questions from opposing parties during question period.
The party would also introduce legislation to ban partisan government advertising, and create an independent child advocate office and an independent ombudsperson office.
The PCs promise more resources for independent legislative offices like the auditor general and the information and privacy commissioner. The party also said it would allow opposition members to hold a majority on committees.
"Our goal is to make the legislative process more receptive to the needs of Islanders and responsive to today's realities," King said.
The PC Party also announced Monday it would set up a $5 million fund to support research and information on women's health issues and needs.
In a written release, the party said the purpose of the fund is to complement a women's health strategy a PC government would introduce if elected.