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Oct 13, 2016

Business Senator Wants Another Crack at Senate Inquiry Motion

Mark Lizarraga

After lengthy discussions, even though it was decided that the Chamber would remove itself from the senate inquiry if the committee is not reconstituted as directed and the terms of reference are strengthened, the Chamber is proceeding with a series of amendments.  Those revisions put forward by the membership of the BCCI will be tabled upon completion.  Until then their position remains firm.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator

“Our membership was in support of the reintroduction of a motion to amend the existing terms and composition.  So we are going to be coming back with proposed amendments as instructed by our membership.  I want this to be very clear that this is not the position of the senator and this is not the position of the executive of the Chamber.  This is the position of the membership that is why we called this meeting in an open and transparent way for our membership to come out and vote and tell us and guide us, especially in something that is so important and that has so much significance for us getting to the bottom of exactly what happened but we do not want to be shackled by games.  We want the terms and composition to be very clear, non-ambiguous so that we know exactly what it is that we can and cannot do beforehand.  I think that our position has not changed, we have from the outset indicated as has the unions or certainly the teachers and certainly the opposition.  Remember we all supported the motion that Senator Courtenay was supposed to make and in that motion we said clearly that it has to be composed of five members, it has to be fair and balanced and reflecting all the parties in the Senate.  We based our arguments not only on precedence but on Standing Order Sixty-nine that empowers the Senate to select the composition and terms.  So we were rooted in the principle of law and we were rooted as well in precedence.  There were several things in the terms that were not satisfactory at all for our membership and our membership said that and a part of that was composition.  If the government is serious about having a fair and impartial hearing into what happened in the Immigration and Nationality Department then give us a committee with five members, one from each party, balanced and fair.”

 

Late this evening, the Prime Minister said that he would turn to Lizarraga to chair that committee; but whether that will happen is yet to be known. 

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