Results 21–40 of 302 for speaker:John Blair

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: That is a fair point. I did not say that that was there. I said that the legislation existed. Mr Irwin alleged — I seek to give an assurance; this is not a criticism — that there was a misrepresentation of the rural community. He is not here at the moment, but I think that he would accept my assurance that that was not intended. I represent a rural constituency, as he does. That is not at...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I thank Mr Weir for giving way. Hopefully, it will shorten my winding-up speech if I address a number of points at one time. I can give an assurance that I am happy to work with others on clause 6 and the terminology around willing participation and numbers of dogs. The inclusion of the word "willing" might well make a difference.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Relationships and Sexuality Education (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: 2. Mr Blair asked the Minister of Education for an update on her engagement with the Minister of Justice on the recommendation in the Gillen review ‘Report into the law and procedures in serious sexual offences in Northern Ireland’ for a review of the relationships and sexuality education (RSE) minimum content order. (AQO 2853/17-22)

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Relationships and Sexuality Education (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for her answer, particularly the priority given to the reference to the serious issue of violence against women and girls. In the light of that, has the Minister met the Justice Minister, or is there a plan to do so, and, if so, when might it take place?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Member for giving way. I will make two points, and perhaps he can clarify them. So far, he has clearly outlined that he does not have a major difficulty with some of the elements of the Bill that deal with the most brutal and barbaric of country sports. Can the Member clarify his position on fox hunting, for example? However, to clarify the legislative position on police...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I beg to move That the Second Stage of the Hunting of Wild Animals Bill [NIA 43/17-22] be agreed.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I will proceed by pointing out that Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom without a ban on hunting with dogs. That is despite widespread public support for a ban, including fox and deer hunting. It is my opinion and that, widely, of the public that hunting with dogs is a cruel and unnecessary sport that causes immeasurable suffering to the hunted animals and the hunting...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill: Second Stage (6 Dec 2021)

John Blair: I am aware of that, and, coincidentally, I will refer to it a line or two later in my speech. Loopholes have been exposed in the legislation in England, Wales and Scotland that have allowed hunting to continue under certain guises, including trail hunting. Such exemptions are widely abused and make potential prosecutions difficult. They cannot be justified. It is imperative that Northern...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill: Second Stage (30 Nov 2021)

John Blair: As I stated, our brave service animals in Northern Ireland carry out invaluable work. That work can often place them in unpredictable and dangerous situations. It is only appropriate that they are adequately protected by law, as they are in neighbouring jurisdictions. Given my roles on the Agriculture Committee and the Northern Ireland Policing Board and as chair of the Assembly all-party...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill: Accelerated Passage (30 Nov 2021)

John Blair: First of all, we are debating whether to grant accelerated passage to the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, and, once we have concluded this debate, we will move to the Second Stage. My immediate comments will focus on whether we should grant accelerated passage. The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, also known as Finn's law, which made it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Inland Waterways (30 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for her statement. Our waterways are a valuable and crucial part of our green recovery. However, it could be said that, historically, they have been undervalued, underutilised and very much under-promoted. I know that because I worked in that area before I came to this place. Was there any discussion at the meeting on how the tourism bodies could properly reflect and...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: British-Irish Council: Summit (30 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Minister for his statement. What preliminary steps were discussed among the respective Governments and Departments of these islands to plan to work together on the delivery of COP26 commitments? Was funding discussed as a vital component of that?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Committee Business: 'Decarbonisation of Road Transport in Northern Ireland': Committee Report (29 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I wish to make some remarks as the Alliance Party's environment spokesperson in addition to the comments made already by my colleague Andrew Muir. The restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 have had a widespread impact on people's lives, including changes to their transport behaviours. Global road transport activity was almost 50% below the 2019 average by the end of March...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Committee Business: 'Decarbonisation of Road Transport in Northern Ireland': Committee Report (29 Nov 2021)

John Blair: I thank the Member for her intervention, and I would certainly support any investment support for public transport, especially in constituencies such as mine, which contribute heavily to commuter traffic into city areas. If we are serious about a green recovery, there is no option: Northern Ireland must contribute to UK and international commitments, move to decarbonise our existing transport...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme (29 Nov 2021)

John Blair: With the emphasis now on rural investment, will the Minister provide an update on another rural development initiative from his Department, namely the rural tourism collaborative experiences programme?

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...


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