Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.
Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley NDP MLA Gary Burrill challenged Conservative MP Scott Armstrong to a debate on EI changes a few weeks ago, but Armstrong said Burrill could debate him in 2015. Burrill wins this week’s Killer Bee prize for beginning the debate in Nova Scotia’s legislature:
Gary Burrill: When I challenged Mr. Armstrong to meet me and debate on this subject, I’m afraid that I was inadequately precise. When I said that I would debate him at any time, I should have specified that what I meant by any time was not 2016 or 2015, or 2014. Rather, what I meant by any time was any time with a remote relation to the present. Now, remote, is, in fact, perhaps an important word here. To respond to people’s loss of their EI cheques and to their being forced to take jobs at 70 per cent of their previous wages, to respond to this by agreeing to discuss the matter in two years, speaks to a certain remoteness, a certain off-somewhere-being-pleased-with-yourself-ness, a certain failure to register or take in the financial difficulty of those who are around you. Therefore, I feel that I am within the bounds of fairness to treat Mr. Armstrong’s agreement to debate me only in two years’ time as, in fact, a “no”.
It is tradition in the Legislature to ring the bells for a recorded vote. Due to a public function about violence against women occurring in the building at the time, Frank Corbett asked that a recess be called, or that the bells be silenced. Unfortunately, the Liberals were feeling disagreeable, and the bells rang.
The Liberals receive a collective Bumble Bee prize for this nasty move.
Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau gained praise from Liberals and Tories alike with his introduction of the Mariners’ Day Act, which designates the second Sunday in August as Mariners’ Day.
Sterling Belliveau: As promised in our government’s recent Speech from the Throne, this will be a special day for families and friends and indeed, all Nova Scotians. As Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, I’m bringing forward a bill that will honour all those fish harvesters who left port in early dawn but never came home. As a fisherman and as a fisherman’s son, I am asking you to join me in assuring the families of those lost souls that they will never be forgotten.
I come from Woods Harbour, Shelburne County, Mr. Speaker, the home port of the Miss Ally. We’ve had our share of fishing tragedies but you don’t have to come from my end of the province to share our sorrow. It’s an all-too-familiar story of many coastal communities and villages that dot Nova Scotia’s shoreline. It’s an all-too-familiar event for too many families.
This most recent fishing tragedy touched the folks all over Nova Scotia, indeed throughout Canada. Unfortunately our maritime history bears the names of men and women from all over the province who lost their life to the sea.
Mr. Speaker, the Mariners’ Day Act is dedicated to all those lost souls. Mariners’ Day will also serve to help promote safety practices within the fishing industry.