Sean Lynch: I thank the First Minister for her statement. What efforts are being made to contact victims and survivors overseas, such as those in America, who may or may not be aware of this report or of any redress support to which they are entitled?
Sean Lynch: Following the cancellation of the transfer test, the Minister commented that that would limit children's opportunities. Recently, he visited St Kevin's College, Lisnaskea, with me. It is the best non-selective school in the North of Ireland and outperforms some of the grammar schools. A number of my family, my nieces and nephews, went to the school, and they all went on to third-level...
Sean Lynch: Minister, paragraph 4 mentions COVID in meat plants. Given the number of outbreaks in meat plants and how crucial those plants are to the supply of food, does the Minister support the call from the Meat Exporters Association to prioritise plant workers on the list for receiving the vaccine?
Sean Lynch: 3. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for an update on the British Government's levelling up fund. (AQO 1406/17-22)
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for answering the question. Can the Minister clarify whether the levelling up fund will specifically focus on rural areas as defined in the Rural Needs Act?
Sean Lynch: A Cheann Comhairle, you will be glad to know that I will keep my comments as short as possible. I will specifically address my remarks to amendment No 10. As a member of the Policing Board, I have a particular focus on the PSNI, which will play a vital role in the new legislation. The new domestic abuse Bill will mark a step change not only in how we deal with perpetrators of abuse but in how...
Sean Lynch: Do the joint Ministers agree with me that all 'New Deal, New Approach' commitments, not just those on language and rights, need to be delivered? However, critically, is she concerned that the British Government have failed to implement their commitments on legacy, including a public inquiry into the murder of the human rights solicitor Pat Finucane, which is a decision that we await today?
Sean Lynch: Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire as a ráiteas. I thank the Minister for her statement. What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the operation of the North/South Language Body and its ability to continue to support its lead organisation?
Sean Lynch: As a former member of the Committee and a current member of the Policing Board, I speak in support of amendment No 13, which is a Committee amendment that would place responsibility on the Justice Minister to make provisions for domestic abuse protection orders and notices within 24 months of commencement or other measures aimed at protecting and supporting victims of domestic abuse. Current...
Sean Lynch: The Minister has answered my question.
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for his statement, which referred to an integrated and responsive supply chain as one of his desired outcomes for future policy. In the absence of an effective Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) and legislation guaranteeing minimum farmgate prices, can you seriously deliver that outcome?
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for his statement. What assurances can he offer to the many organisations who have contacted me and other MLAs regarding the replacement of lost EU funding as we come to the end of the transition period?
Sean Lynch: T1. Mr Lynch asked the Minister for the Economy, given that, on 22 October, she announced that support would be available for businesses impacted by the restrictions — those that were directed to close and those within the supply chain — albeit that only the scheme for those businesses that were directed to close has opened for applications and he is hearing from businesses that are in...
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for her answer. Back in October, you were allocated funding for the newly self-employed. Many of those people have received zero support to date. Will you tell them when they can expect, finally, to get much-needed support?
Sean Lynch: Minister, here in the North, the private rented sector is the most unregulated across these islands, and the tenants within it are the least protected. What is the Department's plan to address that issue?
Sean Lynch: T3. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Education whether he accepts that the recently announced CCEA proposals, which came a week before schools were closed for an extended mid-term break because of COVID, need to be reconsidered, especially because many school leaders and students have been left disappointed and frustrated and to take into account the likelihood of further disruption to the...
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for his answer. He mentioned contingency plans, but we were aware that the decision to close schools in March would have consequences for this year's academic work. Here we are, nearly at the end of October, and we do not have comprehensive contingency plans or scenario planning. Will the Minister advise when those plans will be completed?
Sean Lynch: 8. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Education what contingency planning is under way for the possibility of further school closures due to the rising COVID-19 infection rate. (AQO 914/17-22)
Sean Lynch: Go raibh maith agat, agus gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire as an fhreagra sin. I thank the Minister for his answer. We are subject to an ever-changing public health crisis, which could require further closures if that is the medical and scientific advice. Does the Minister agree that, in these uncertain times, he should be preparing for the real possibility of further closures?
Sean Lynch: As the third Fermanagh Member to speak, I welcome the debate and support the motion. Never before have the issues of climate change and fossil fuels been so crucial. In a recent documentary that many Members may have seen, David Attenborough said: "The time for action is now. Unless we act, we may reach the point of no recovery." We have all seen the huge floods and fires across the globe in...