Website Survey - We want your feedback on the Northern Ireland Assembly website. Take our 7 question survey now.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 22 March 2021

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Matter of the Day

2.1 Murders in Newtownabbey

Ms Paula Bradley, under Standing Order 24, made a statement on the Murders in Newtownabbey. Other Members were also called to speak on the matter.

3. Public Petition

3.1 Ban Conversion Therapy

Ms Paula Bradshaw was granted leave, in accordance with Standing Order 22, to present a Public Petition to Ban Conversion Therapy.

4. Assembly Business

4.1 Motion: Committee Membership

Proposed:

That Mr Gary Middleton replace Ms Paula Bradley as a member of the Committee on Procedures; and that Mr Gary Middleton replace Mr Paul Givan as a member of the Committee for the Economy.

Mr Keith Buchanan
Mrs Pam Cameron

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

4.2 Motion: Extension of the Ad Hoc Committee on the COVID-19 response

Proposed:

That this Assembly agrees that, unless it previously resolves, the time frame for the existence of the Ad Hoc Committee, appointed by the Assembly on 31 March 2020 for the purpose of receiving oral statements from Ministers on matters relating to the COVID-19 response and questioning Ministers on such statements, be extended by six months until 30 September 2021.

Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr John O'Dowd
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Robbie Butler
Ms Kellie Armstrong
Ms Clare Bailey

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair.

5. Executive Committee Business

5.1 Motion: The Pneumoconiosis, etc., (Workers' Compensation) (Payment of Claims) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

Proposed:

That the Pneumoconiosis, etc., (Workers' Compensation) (Payment of Claims) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 be affirmed.

Minister for Communities

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

5.2 Motion: The draft Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

Proposed:

That the draft Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 be approved.

Minister of Finance

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

6. Private Members' Business

6.1 First Stage: Climate Change Bill (NIA Bill 19/17-22)

Ms Clare Bailey introduced a Bill to enable the mitigation of the impact of climate change in Northern Ireland; establish a legally binding net-zero carbon target for Northern Ireland; provide for the establishment and powers of the Northern Ireland Climate Commissioner and Northern Ireland Climate Office; guarantee existing environmental and climate protections; and for connected purposes.

The Climate Change Bill (NIA Bill 19/17-22) passed First Stage and was ordered to be printed.

The Speaker took the Chair.

6.2 Motion: Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises there has been a failure of leadership to deal with issues that arise around flags, identity, culture and tradition in Northern Ireland; and calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to publish the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition report, and to bring the report recommendations to the Executive for review, to provide funding and to take forward in order to ensure leadership on these issues and to move Northern Ireland forward together as a united community.

Ms Paula Bradshaw
Mr Andrew Muir
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'review,' and insert:

'to honour their commitments within New Decade, New Approach and establish the Office of Identity and Cultural Expression without delay, and to provide the necessary funding for these outcomes to re-commit ourselves to reconciliation, peace and stability.'

Mr Colin McGrath
Mr Matthew O'Toole
Mr Patsy McGlone

Debate ensued.

The debate stood suspended for Question Time.

7. Question Time

7.1 Executive Office

Questions were put to, and answered by, the deputy First Minister, Mrs Michelle O'Neill. The junior Minister, Mr Declan Kearney, also answered a number of questions

The Deputy Speaker, Mr McGlone, took the Chair.

7.2 Infrastructure

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for Infrastructure, Ms Nichola Mallon.

The Speaker took the Chair.

8. Question for Urgent Oral Answer

8.1 Abortion Services

The Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann, responded to a Question for Urgent Oral Answer tabled by Ms Paula Bradshaw.

9. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

9.1 Motion: Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Question being put, the amendment was made.

The Question being put, the motion as amended was carried.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

9.2 Motion: JobStart and the Impact of the Pandemic on 16 to 24 year olds

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people, their personal and professional development, mental health, and career prospects; recognises that 16 to 24 year olds have been among the most disproportionately affected by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions; expresses deep concern that the Minister of Finance has not provided certainty that funding commitments for the JobStart scheme in Northern Ireland can be honoured in the next financial year; and calls on the Minister for Communities to commit to the implementation and roll-out of the JobStart scheme without further delay to address serious youth unemployment challenges.

Ms Paula Bradley
Mr Paul Frew
Mr Robin Newton
Mr Alex Easton

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

10. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 5.49pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
22 March 2021

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 17 March 2021 to 22 March 2021

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Climate Change Bill (NIA Bill 19/17-22)

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Charitable Donations and Bequests Accounts year ending March 2019 (Department for Communities)

5. Assembly Reports

Report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules to the Assembly and the Appropriate Committees Thirty First Report of Session 2020 – 2021 (NIA 89/17-22) (Examiner of Statutory Rules)

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2021/68 The Travel Agents (Coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (The Executive Office)

SR 2021/69 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Amendment No. 9) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

SR 2021/70 The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for Communities)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

PROXY VOTING NOTICES – MONDAY 22 MARCH 2021

The following Members notified the Speaker, under Standing Order 112, that they wished to avail of proxy voting arrangements for the sitting on Monday 22 March 2021:

Andy Allen

Dolores Kelly

Martina Anderson

Gerry Kelly

Caoimhe Archibald

Liz Kimmins

Rosemary Barton

Naomi Long

Roy Beggs

Gordon Lyons

John Blair

Séan Lynch

Cathal Boylan

Chris Lyttle

Paula Bradley

Nichola Mallon

Sinead Bradley

Declan McAleer

Paula Bradshaw

Fra McCann

Nicola Brogan

Daniel McCrossan

Thomas Buchanan

Patsy McGlone

Jonathan Buckley

Colin McGrath

Joanne Bunting

Philip McGuigan

Robbie Butler

Maolíosa McHugh

Pat Catney

Sinead McLaughlin

Alan Chambers

Justin McNulty

Stewart Dickson

Gary Middleton

Linda Dillon

Andrew Muir

Diane Dodds

Karen Mullan

Jemma Dolan

Conor Murphy

Gordon Dunne

Mike Nesbitt

Mark Durkan

Robin Newton

Alex Easton

Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinead Ennis

Michelle O’Neill

Arlene Foster

Edwin Poots

Órlaithí Flynn

George Robinson

Colm Gildernew

Emma Rogan

Paul Givan

Pat Sheehan

Deirdre Hargey

Emma Sheerin

Harry Harvey

Christopher Stalford

David Hilditch

John Stewart

Cara Hunter

Mervyn Storey

William Irwin

Robin Swann

Declan   Kearney

Peter Weir

 

Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs

Search

News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us