The Bees’ Knees – Prizes for Week Four

Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out four prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.

Honey Bee and Bumble Bee

In the Legislature, Notices of Motion are used by MLAs for two primary purposes; to recognize people in the community for their work, and to get under the skin of your political opponents.

Rarely are these resolutions newsworthy. But NDP Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald is determined to receive an apology from Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil for saying social workers are not qualified to be in charge of finances.

Maureen MacDonald: Whereas the Leader of the Liberal Party said in this Legislature that a social worker lacks the qualifications to be Minister of Finance; and

Whereas social workers are caring professionals whose training and skills include setting priorities and securing resources to meet often complex needs in situations that range from the mundane to those of life and death; and

Whereas there are and have been many social workers in positions of leadership in public office – for example, Kathy Dunderdale, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador;

Therefore be it resolved that the Leader of the Liberal Party apologize to the social workers of Nova Scotia for demeaning their capacity to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in matters pertaining to public administration.

As Nova Scotians begin to wonder about Stephen McNeil’s qualifications to be Premier, Maureen MacDonald wins this week’s Honey Bee prize for good work for reminding us that Liberals are developing a history of dismissing the experience of women, whether an actress like Truro MLA Lenore Zann, a teacher like Ramona Jennex or a social worker like MacDonald.

Stephen McNeil wins the Bumble Bee award for waking up a hornets nest of NDP activists on the left who have a high regard for Maureen MacDonald. We received 14 emails from NDP supporters on McNeil’s attack – a record for one quote since we began giving out these weekly prizes.

Killer Bee

To listen to the Liberals and Conservatives talk in the Legislature, you would think they had never been in power in Nova Scotia. Either that, or their history was full of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Kings North MLA Jim Morton wins this week’s Killer Bee prize for pointing out that the NDP’s goal of giving youth a reason to stay in this province would never be necessary if the Liberals or Tories had made economic growth a priority.

Jim Morton: If you look at our history, we’ve been “Goin’ Down the Road,” as a great Canadian film of the late 1960s showed, for a very long time. You know that history of going down the road is something that my colleague, the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley chronicled in a book that he prepared, called Away, which I think demonstrates so clearly that we’ve been going down the road to look for work for 150 years. During those 150 years, I think a reasonable question is, who has been presiding over that state of affairs here in this province? I don’t have to tell many people in this House who that is – it’s those guys over there.

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

The Liberal MLA from Preston, Keith Colwell, has already forgotten that Darrell Dexter won the 2009 election, not by promising everything under the sun, but by making 50 commitments for their first mandate. So far, they have met 49 of those 50 goals.

Keith Colwell: I can recall when the Premier of the province, the Premier who’s there today, was on this side of the House and promised everything under the sun to everybody who walked forward. It didn’t matter who they were, he promised it to them.

Colwell, as is often the case, is wrong. John Hamm credited the NDP with behaving responsibly during their time in opposition. The Liberals are the ones who promise to raise nearly every budget line while reducing taxes. Keith Colwell wins the Drone of the Week prize for confusing red with orange.