David Coon MLA, Fredericton South
Winter Newsletter
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At the Legislature

The sitting of the 58th Legislature resumed on February 10th and there is plenty on the agenda. 

Since we broke for Christmas, I have been working on bills and motions I will introduce during February and March.  Watch for my bill to establish a Local Food Security Act and one to annul the disastrous forestry agreements signed by the former government.  The Local Food Security Act would set provincial targets to grow the local food economy, require public institutions such as schools and hospitals to use more local food, and establish a label to clearly identify locally produced and processed food products.   The forestry bill would reverse the ill-conceived guarantees made to industry to increase cutting on Crown land to an unsustainable level and lock it in for the next 25 years.

I also plan to bring forward a proposal to amend the rules that govern the way the Legislature operates to include a description of the roles and responsibilities of MLAs and a code of conduct for us.  No such code exists in New Brunswick, but Parliaments in the United Kingdom and New Zealand have adopted such measures.

I am looking at additional bills.  For example, constituents have raised concerns over the requirement that students are only eligible to travel on a school bus if they live more than 2.4 kms away from the school.  This seems like a long distance for young children to walk, so I am looking at the requirements in other provinces to see if we might amend our Education Act to be consistent with the rest of the Maritimes.

While I can introduce bills and motions on any day we are sitting, they only come up for debate and voting on Opposition Day, which is every Thursday afternoon.  The Official Opposition gets first dibs on the Thursday agenda, and then my initiatives come up. My bill to extend the right to vote to 16 and 17 year olds was introduced before Christmas: watch for the debate at second reading on February 26th.

I currently sit on three Legislative committees:  the Legislative Administration Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, and the Crown Corporations Committee.  At the Legislative Administration Committee, we are reviewing budget proposals from the Legislative Officers including the Auditor General, Ombudsman and Child and Youth Advocate.   At Public Accounts and Crown Corporations we are scrutinizing the spending of government departments and Crown corporations.  The Auditor General reports her work to us, and it is our responsibility to ensure her recommendations are implemented by government departments.

Please give me a call or drop me an e-mail if you want to discuss any of these initiatives.  If you have a free hour or two during the day, why not drop into the Visitors’ Gallery to take in part of Legislative Session.  My constituency coordinator, Taeyon Kim, would be happy to let you know times for Question Period or for debates you might want to attend.  The Legislative Assembly website is also a useful source of information at

By David Coon
Edited by Beth Paynter

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Copyright © 2015 David Coon, MLA, All rights reserved.

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