Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out four prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.
The NDP’s law that reduces the HST one point in 2014 and another point in 2015 seems to have confounded the Conservatives. Jamie Baillie has said often that if he is ever elected Premier, he would reduce the HST. When given the opportunity to vote on the legislation that will do so, his Conservatives called for a recorded vote so that the public would know who voted to reduce the HST and who didn’t. The stumble? Baillie and the Conservatives didn’t actually show up and vote, leaving only NDP and Liberal MLAs to vote and winning Jamie Baillie this week’s Bumble Bee prize for the error prone.
Liberal MLA Michel Samson was quick to point out the Conservatives shirked their democratic responsibility, winning this week’s Killer Bee prize:
Michel Samson: We all know that the recorded vote on the Financial Measures (2012) Bill was requested by the Progressive Conservative caucus under the leadership of the Leader of their caucus. I believe that their not even showing up for that vote is certainly a signature of what leadership we could expect from the Progressive Conservative caucus after that. (Interruptions)
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
When NDP MLAs introduce private member bills at the request of their communities, you can be sure that a Conservative MLA will declare a bill meaningless and accuse the government of just trying to pad their legislative stats. It’s a silly line that the Tory Caucus should retire. MLA Chuck Porter wins this week’s Drone of the Week prize for dismissing a bill introduced for the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival as unimportant. As Kings North MLA Jim Morton showed, it’s important to the festival, who pointed out that previous to his bill, the board would need to introduce legislation just to update their by-laws.
Chuck Porter: I’m glad to have an opportunity to speak to the two sentences that are in this bill this morning. You know, I think it’s fine that the honourable member puts forward a bill to make a rather simple change, and we’ve seen that go through the House. I mean it’s just a matter of adding to the number of bills over there – I think the session has been pretty limited on the value of what has been in the bills over there actually.
Jim Morton: I’m very happy to rise and just say a few words about the bill. I must say I was a little disappointed to hear the member for Hants West minimize the importance of this bill. Sometimes a very few words can matter a whole lot. Of course, the member for Hants West can probably be excused for not knowing that the Apple Blossom Festival has been guided by an Act of this Legislature since 1935.
On the heels of the NDP’s Natural Resources Strategy comes Bill 87, the Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act. Pictou East MLA and Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker explained the changes needed to improve both the economic and environmental feasibility of the forestry sector, winning this week’s Honey Bee prize for good work.
Charlie Parker: The amendments help address the Natural Resources Strategy’s goal of advancing sustainable forestry management in the province. The proposed amendments stem from the message which the province heard loud and clear from Nova Scotians during the extensive consultations that led up to the Natural Resources Strategy…
The agreement states the terms and the conditions by which a forestry company may operate on Crown land. Currently there’s no legislative authority that allows government to enter into long-term licence agreements with forestry companies. Only short-term agreements are currently allowed under the Crown Lands Act…
Long-term agreements, we believe, are important. They are important for long-term planning and sustainable forestry management, both for government, which plans and oversees management of our forests, and for the forestry companies, which are integral to that management. The short-term agreements were not allowing enough time for good planning… Amending the Crown Lands Act will benefit Nova Scotians by giving government the control, through the terms and conditions of long-term forestry agreements, to manage and allocate Crown timber in the best possible manner.