Results 1–20 of 267 for speaker:John Blair

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: Legislative Consent Memorandum (23 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I start by thanking the Minister for her detailed statement and her explanation of the LCM. Given that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has already been introduced in the UK Parliament and the powers relate to legislation that applies across the UK, I recognise the practical reasons for the legislative consent motion, as opposed to our own legislation, to ensure parity with the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Blasphemy and Blasphemy Libel (23 Nov 2021)

John Blair: The Minister has touched on this, but I will ask the question. I am aware of the Minister's long-standing commitment to freedom of and freedom from religion. Does she share my frustration that we do not have a legislative vehicle to repeal those offences and that that should now be a priority?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prostitution: Historical Convictions (23 Nov 2021)

John Blair: Given the appropriate emphasis placed on this issue by the police, the Policing Board and, indeed, the Department, what advice would the Minister give to those who come across what they believe to be modern slavery?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hospital Parking Charges Bill: Second Stage (22 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I have no intention of hindering the Bill's progression to Committee Stage. From the outset, however, I want to outline my concerns at some of its principles. Those concerns are in common with those expressed often in the Chamber when we discuss climate challenges. I address them for every service and sector, and, to be honest, I express them not to be popular but to be consistent, in the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure: Glider Route: Glengormley, Mallusk, Carnmoney (22 Nov 2021)

John Blair: T7. Mr Blair asked the Minister for Infrastructure, given that she will be aware of growing public demand in the Glengormley, Mallusk and Carnmoney areas of his South Antrim constituency for the extension of the rapid transit system to serve the many thousands of people who live, work and go to school there, to state whether there has been any progress in reaching those areas in the plans for...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure: Road Resurfacing Contracts: Legal Challenges (22 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for the clarification she has been able to give so far on the current legal challenges. When will the independent investigation that is under way into the botched procurement process be published? Will any aspects of it be redacted?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Cancer Operation Waiting Lists (22 Nov 2021)

John Blair: Does the Minister agree that taking steps beyond merely voluntary vaccination, such as prohibiting high-risk venues from opening without mitigations, would reduce coronavirus infections and COVID-19 hospitalisations, and, therefore, facilitate a refocus on waiting lists? That is why new actions have been identified and why we should stick to them.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: First Stage (9 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I beg to introduce the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill [NIA 43/17-22], a Bill to prohibit hunting wild mammals with dogs; to prohibit trail hunting; to prohibit terrier work; and for connected purposes. Bill passed First Stage and ordered to be printed.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: Green Growth Strategy (9 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for his statement. We should give it a broad welcome. I am pleased to hear that he is making a bid for funding for commitments made in the strategy. The Chancellor of the UK Government announced a fund of £640 million last year to fund the planting of over 40 million trees and the restoration of 35,000 hectares of peatland in England. The Scottish and Welsh Governments...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: Environment Strategy (9 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for his statement. With all the mentions of a circular economy and pledges for zero waste, is it not a fact that, without a green new deal, the UK Government and the Departments represented in the Assembly will seriously struggle to meet their carbon emission target reductions under the Paris agreement? Therefore, how can the pledge in the statement be taken seriously and...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: Independent Strategic Review of the NI Agri-Food Sector (8 Nov 2021)

John Blair: The Northern Ireland agri-food sector has been heavily dependent on a flow of EU workers, which has stopped due to the UK's post-Brexit immigration rules. Can the Minister provide us with an update on what actions have been taken to address those labour shortages?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statement: Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy: Glenarm Forest (8 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for the information provided in the statement. In addition to the issues raised around the canopy scheme — we welcome the good news for the scenic town of Glenarm — are schemes such as those that try to address the provision of trees in urban streets being looked at? I ask that because, coincidentally, when the statement was first scheduled, a colleague on Belfast...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Members' Statements: Rathcoole Bus Hijacking (8 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I am grateful for the chance to wish our colleague Mr Weir a full and speedy recovery and to address the issue of recurring violence in Northern Ireland. I cannot condemn strongly enough the latest violence on the streets, including a bus hijacking and burning in Rathcoole, close to my constituency, on Sunday evening. I pass on my support to the driver and passengers who were on that bus....

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: PSNI: Unionist and Loyalist Confidence (2 Nov 2021)

John Blair: In the week in which we mark the twentieth anniversary of the PSNI and the bravery and community spirit of those who serve in it, does the Minister agree that building confidence in policing is also about building confidence in the oversight structures, such as the Policing Board and the Office of the Police Ombudsman, and avoiding party politicking around those structures, their clearly...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Communities: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council: DFC Intervention (1 Nov 2021)

John Blair: T2. Mr Blair asked the Minister for Communities, given recent events and publicity, what action her Department is taking to ensure that the morale and confidence of staff, councillors and, indeed, ratepayers in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area is restored and protected. (AQT 1712/17-22)

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Communities: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council: DFC Intervention (1 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for that answer. These are difficult issues. In light of the detail given in the answer and some of the issues that I referred to in my question, may I ask whether the processes that are in place are to be reviewed as a result of the recent events and the publicity around them?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Members' Statements: COP26: Climate Emergency (1 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I am also grateful for the opportunity to make a statement at the commencement of COP26 in Glasgow. The climate crisis is no longer a looming threat; it is here and it is happening now. Further delay to action would be deadly. Government action towards rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases to prevent climate breakdown has never been more crucial. Northern Ireland needs to play its...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Stability of the Institutions and Referral to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (19 Oct 2021)

John Blair: I support the Alliance Party motion and the Alliance Party amendment. Recent elections have clearly demonstrated a heightened interest in a united community where everyone in Northern Ireland is treated equally, but the Assembly continues to represent institutionalised division through its binary and outdated designation system. Recent elections have also shown a significant increase in votes...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Stability of the Institutions and Referral to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (19 Oct 2021)

John Blair: I can clarify my position. I have been asked many times over the years whether I am a unionist Alliance Party member or a nationalist Alliance Party member. The answer — clearly, firmly and proudly — is neither. That is the case today, and it will be the case going forward. It is undemocratic that an effective veto power should continue for some parties — only some parties — in these...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland: Independent Evaluation (18 Oct 2021)

John Blair: I declare that I am a member of the Policing Board. I acknowledge the challenging year that it has been for the Office of the Police Ombudsman and all other bodies involved in our police scrutiny structures. They have endured a lot, like other public bodies. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been far-reaching in society as a whole. No individual or organisation has remained unaffected....


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