Rankin to Introduce Bills on Judicial Process; Clean Hydrogen Use

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin will be introducing two pieces of legislation in the House of Assembly today.

The Judicial Appointments Act will seek to rectify the Houston government’s decision this past January to give overwhelming authority to the Minister of Justice in the judicial appointments process.

Under the new guidelines, the province’s justice minister now has the discretion to appoint all members of the advisory committee that recommends judicial appointments to the provincial and family court circuit. This bill will legislate a return to the committee’s original system, where the chair was selected by the committee and the minister’s selections were limited to four members in order to preserve judicial independence.

“The potential for political influence is too great a risk with the government’s restructuring of this advisory committee. This bill will ensure the judicial appointments process is free from partisanship, while adding an additional requirement for equity and cultural competence in its recommendations,” says Rankin.

Rankin will also be tabling the Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Act, a bill that would develop a tax credit to encourage the production and utilization of clean hydrogen as Nova Scotia moves toward energy diversity.

“Nova Scotia needs a strategy to capitalize on our competitive and regional advantages, like tidal and offshore wind resources, to accelerate growth in low-carbon hydrogen,” says Rankin. “We need to consider how low-carbon hydrogen can cost-effectively support our evolving energy systems through electricity storage and clean fuel supply.”

The federal government’s hydrogen strategy anticipates that clean hydrogen will deliver up to 30 per cent of Canada’s energy use by 2050; this bill will help Nova Scotia become a regional hub for this type of energy production.