By Jennifer Vardy Little
The Kings County Register
County residents don’t have to worry about the impact of a private member’s bill that was introduced by a Halifax-area MLA last month.
Bill 161, the Natural Resources Accountability Act, has garnered a lot of attention since a letter to the editor about the bill was run in a Halifax paper, says Kings North MLA Jim Morton.
“I’ve had a number of e-mails, people walking into the office and calling me at home, concerned about this bill,” said Morton. “People are concerned because the implications if it became law. It seems to be worrying people with private woodlots.”
Bill 161 was introduced as a Private Members Bill, meaning it was not a piece of legislation that came forward from the NDP government. All MLAs have the ability to propose a piece of legislation they feel represents the interests of their constituents. Like any other piece of legislation, it must go through several readings in the legislature and receive the support of the House before it can be enacted.
Morton says the province has no intention with moving forward with the legislation.
It was initially introduced By Michele Raymond, MLA for Halifax Atlantic, in December. She says the bill has been misquoted in the Chronicle Herald letter.
"In bringing forward this legislation my intention was to ensure that if permits are required for an activity involving natural resources or Crown (public) land, copies must be publicly available so all citizens have timely assurance that the public interest is being upheld. However, I fully respect government's decision not to move forward with it,” said Raymond in a government press release issued Jan. 13.
Raymond had good intentions when introducing the bill, Morton said, but it won’t be moving forward.
“The government has no intention of moving forward with it, we understand it has wide-reaching impacts,” Morton said.