At least two Senators on the opposing side of the Upper House have called for the timely delivery of documentation such as bills and motions that are to be deliberated upon during the various sittings of the Senate.
In offering his contribution to the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed during a sitting of the Senate last week Wednesday, Senator Nazim Burke complained, that due to the late delivery of the parliamentary notices members on the other side were not given enough time to review and discuss the documents with the various persons and groups that they represent.
“This bill from my recollection came to our attention about three days ago… today is Wednesday, less than 48 hours notice that the bill is being brought (before the House). The rules of the House say that you must give the members at least six days notice,” Sen. Burke declared.
The Senator, who is also the Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) requested that bills and notices, et cetera, be made available to members in a timely manner to allow for adequate review and discussion.
“At the very least give us the bills six days before,” Sen. Burke said, adding, “I believe it is appropriate that if The Honourable member is going to come to the House two days before, (he should) at least render some kind of apology to the House and the other members of the House.”
He was referring to Leader of Government Business, Sen. Simon Stiell, who presented the Bill to the House, but did not offer an apology for its tardy delivery.
Sen. Burke respectfully urged President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey, to remind the members on the government side of their responsibility “in much the same way as you (he) chide a member (on the other side) for coming here (to the Senate sitting) late in the morning…it must (also) be brought to the attention of the members on government side that something better is required.”
Opposition Sen. Dr. George Vincent, who was out of state but returned last week Monday, echoed the words of his counterpart on the issue, while informing the House that he “just could not find the time to study the documents as he only “received the documents yesterday (on Tuesday evening).”
Dr. Vincent called for enough time to be provided for senators on the other side to “study the documents properly (so that they can in turn) make a substantive contribution to the debate” in the Upper House.
Opposition Senators have been complaining for some time now about the tardiness of the parliamentary notices from the Dr. Keith Mitchell-led administration from time to time but have not been successful with their pleas.