Newfoundland and Labrador.

AuthorJerrett, Mark
PositionLegislative Reports

The first session of the 50th General Assembly continued in the spring sitting of 2022, with the House resuming for three days on March 15, 2022, in accordance with the parliamentary calendar. During that time, the House debated and passed the Interim Supply Act, 2022. Following a two-week recess, the House resumed on April 4, and the provincial budget was delivered on April 7.

COVID-19 Considerations

On March 14, 2022, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador relaxed its public health restrictions, removing the Alert Level system entirely as well as masking and vaccination requirements.

As a result of these changes, masks are currently discretionary (but recommended) for Members in the Chamber. Consistent with the protocols in place in Confederation Building Complex at this time, masks are mandatory for employees in all areas of the parliamentary precinct, including the Chamber, and are mandatory for Members outside the Chamber at the direction of the Speaker.

The configuration of the Chamber remains the same as it was for the fall 2021 sitting, with the desks being spaced apart, at the discretion of the Speaker.

The public galleries opened for the spring 2022 sitting without the capacity restrictions that were in place in previous sittings. The protocols in place for employees in Confederation Building Complex (requirement for proof of vaccination and masks) also apply to all visitors at this time, including visitors to the galleries.

Tours of the House of Assembly resumed as of March 15.

Standing Orders Committee

The Standing Orders Committee presented its first report of the 50th General Assembly to the House on March 15, which concurred on March 16. All recommendations made by the Committee were adopted, specifically:

* the enforcement of Standing Order 48 by the Speaker with regard to relevancy at all times during debate, including debate on money bills;

* amendments to codify the time provided for ministerial statements and responses by Members of the Official Opposition and the Third Party;

* amendments to the Standing Orders that decrease the time allocation for each Member during debate on private Members' motions from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, and provides for Members to seek an advance ruling from the Speaker on amendments to private Members' motions outside of the time allotted for debate; and

* a provisional amendment to the Standing Orders for a period of one year with respect to deferral of vote on division.

The full report...

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