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Apr 1, 2016

2 of 5 Related Immigration Bills are Approved

Eamon Courtenay

The purpose of the proposed pieces of law is unclear since Minister Hulse has full powers. Courtenay surmises, however, that it may be one of two reasons: either to give rise to a junior minister with special powers or to create one minister of state with extraordinary capabilities.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Opposition Senator

“I said in the senate, and I repeat, it seems to me that they are attempting either to create a mini minister or a super minister of state.  None of which are contemplated by the constitution.  The constitution in Section Forty-three gives the Governor General three circumstances where he can assign responsibility that has been given to Godwin Hulse to another minister.  One: if Godwin Hulse is sick, if Godwin is out of the country or if he’s in the country and for some reason he needs to be excused from performing that.  What they were attempting to do without amending the constitution is give the power that is now vested in the Governor General to Godwin Hulse.  I criticized it, I said it was bad and I asked the question why is it being done for one minister?  What about the other ministers of state?  What about Tracy Taegar-Panton, for example, who has responsibility supposedly for investment.  Why isn’t she being given the power to sign fiscal incentives, development concessions?  You can go on and on with the other ministers of state.  So there seems to be a policy confusion.  More importantly, it is our view that this entire construct of this mini minister is designed to get around the restriction in the constitution that the prime minister can only appoint two-thirds of the elected members on his side, ministers.  He’s up to that maximum and if he were to make another appointment it would be unconstitutional so they have come up with this thing to get around a prohibition in the constitution.  That seems to us to be unconstitutional.”

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