Alliance Chief Whip Andrew Muir has unveiled his party’s legislative priorities for the forthcoming Assembly mandate, saying they represent a range of Bills designed to move our society forward together.
They include a Single Equality Bill to update protections against discrimination, a Hate Crime Bill to strengthen legislation on hate crimes, an Education Bill to strengthen the statementing process and introduce ‘Harry’s Law’, and the reintroduction of the party’s Bill seeking to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs.
“The previous Assembly mandate saw two collapses of the Executive, which meant fewer pieces of legislation delivered than would have been normally,” said North Down Assembly candidate Mr Muir.
“However, Alliance, through Private Member’s Bills, achieved several key pieces of legislation, such as the Integrated Education Bill and Fair Employment for Teachers Bill. That would have been added to if Sinn Féin and the majority of the DUP had not voted against the Bill seeking to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs.
“Added to a range of delivery in other areas, Alliance can play our role in moving our society forward. If we can add more Alliance MLAs to the Assembly team, we can deliver even more.
“If those who boycotted the Executive towards the end of the last mandate remove their threats to the institutions and allow everyone to get fully to work, the Assembly can hit the ground running and together, we can create legislation which delivers for all of the people of Northern Ireland.”
Single Equality Bill – to update our equality and non-discrimination protections, closing existing gaps and including age-related discrimination in goods, facilities and services.
Hate Crime Bill – to strengthen legislation on hate crimes, building on the recommendations of Judge Marrinan.
Education Bill – to introduce ‘Harry’s Law’, to amend the Minimum Content Order on Relationship and Sexuality Education, and to strengthen the statementing process.
Hunting Wild Mammals with Dogs Bill – to ban it, after other parties blocked our attempt to do so in the previous mandate.
Environment Bill – to create an independent Environmental Protection Agency and to set legally binding targets for restoration of species and habitats.
Energy Bill – to ban fossil fuel extraction and exploration, to bring oil within the remit of the Utility Regulator, and to require all departments to consider energy transition in policy development.
Employment Bill – to regulate the gig economy, to strengthen flexible working options, and to ban ‘fire and hire’ practices.
Conversion Therapy Ban Bill – to prohibit so-called ‘conversion therapy’ which seeks to change, ‘cure’ or suppress the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person.