Defense Condition 4 = concern

Provincial New Democrat leader Carole James says she has expressed "concern" to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Bill Barisoff about his decision to appoint Liberal supporter Louise Burgart to the supposedly non-partisan electoral boundary commission. In a scrum today, Ms. James said she knew Ms. Burgart's "work as a superintendent. She did a very good as a superintendent." But "there's problems with the partisan nature of her appointment. I think it's going to raise concerns about the entire boundaries commission and whether it's going to be truly accountable and non-partisan." And the New Democrats, she says, will "be making more statements (about Ms. Burgart's partisanship) as the commission meets."

Ms. James also tried to clarify reports she okayed Ms, Burgart's appointment: "The speaker ran some names by (me). I expressed - as I said - the fact I worked with Ms. Burgart as a superintendent. She did a very good job as a superintendent. But it was up to the speaker to do the work around whether she was partisan - whether she was an independent appointment. So the speaker did not give me an option of saying yes or no. We had some names run past us. And I gave him my feedback."

Ms. James acknowledged she hadn't be aware of Ms. Burgart's partisanship at the time she received those names. The New Democrat leader didn't directly respond to questions as to whether Ms. Burgart should resign or whether Mr. Barisoff acted inapproriately.

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