Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out four prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.
The Education Minister Ramona Jennex answered a great many questions well the past week, but it was Premier Darrell Dexter’s defense of the librarians that the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board planned to cut that wins the Honey Bee award for good work.
Premier Dexter: Well let me be really clear – any board that says it is going to cut the entire library service from their budget cannot be taken seriously. (Applause) It’s an abrogation of their responsibility to the children in their charge. As I said, I want to be very, very clear that this is nothing but a political game being played by the school board… The simple fact of the matter is that the school boards knows that to the families and children that they are supposed to serve, those cuts would be unacceptable. They are unacceptable to them, they are unacceptable to the community, and they are unacceptable to us, Mr. Speaker, be assured. (Applause)
When Argyle MLA Chris D’Entremont suggested Back to Work legislation should be used in labour disputes, the Premier won his second award of the week clearly outlining the difference between the parties when it comes to respectful labour negotiations:
Premier Dexter: I think we well know the opinions of the Progressive Conservative Party on this matter. We know that they have always chosen the options that most infringe upon collective bargaining rights. We know that they are opposed to good faith bargaining, that they want to have only their way when it comes to the administration of health care. They don’t want to listen to front-line health care workers, and we’ve experienced this. We experienced it through Bill No. 68 – and you’ll remember Bill No. 68. That was when they wanted to impose a contract, take away the right for people to even meet to discuss a contract, and I remember the health care workers (Interruptions) They said to us, Mr. Speaker, that Bill No. 68 was the worst thing that ever happened to them since the Liberals rolled their wages back.
Drone of the Week
1 drone noun \drōn\ a stingless bee that does not gather nectar or pollen
2 drone intransitive verb \drōn\ to talk in a persistently dull or monotonous tone
First Contract Arbitration legislation was not a “job killer” in any other province in Canada. And when Nova Scotia did not have it, jobs did not move from other provinces to our province.
Allan MacMaster: Why doesn’t the government listen to small business and tear up that (first-contract arbitration) legislation? That would help to create jobs in this province.
The Conservatives and Liberal continue to bring this issue up, a constant reminder of their blind spot on employee issues.
If you say someone wrote you an email, and then read from this email into the public record, you had better be prepared to prove there actually was an email.
Eddie Orrell: Mr. Speaker, last week the NDP rolled out their votes and pork-barrelling-first plan. We know about one vote that didn’t get bought. Some parents in Eastern Passage have questions. In an e-mail, one Eastern Passage mother was concerned that at the same time the NDP Government is making education cuts, they have $15 million laying around to create a high school…
Speaker: Order, please. Order. I would remind the honourable member that he must say who the person is before you read the e-mail. You have to say who it is and then say the quote. (Interruption) Without that, I find that it’s hard to deal with that question. That is the procedure that we follow here in this House. (Interruption)
(At the end of Question Period) I would like to make reference here to one of our former Speakers you would be well aware of, Murray Scott. I’m going to say that on October 16, 2003, Speaker Scott ruled with respect to a letter, the Speaker observed information that would reveal the author had been removed. He ruled that any document that is not tabled in its entirety is completely and therefore out of order. Speaker Scott ruled that thereafter, any member who is going to table or read a letter or quote from a letter should first announce that it is, in fact, signed by the author.
The Speaker must try to keep the proceedings of the legislature civil, which can be a difficult job during Question Period. It is good to see the Speaker also keeps a watchful eye on ensuring all evidence introduced orally is also tabled for all Nova Scotians to see.