Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out four prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.
In an otherwise excellent speech, in which he talked about how getting Nova Scotia off coal-power is important for both health reasons and for stable electricity prices, Pictou’s own Clarrie MacKinnon threw out a line about Stephen McNeil that became the story instead.
Clarrie MacKinnon: The only experience the Leader of the Opposition (Stephen McNeil) has on power electricity is the power it takes to run a washer or a dryer.
We believe that Stephen McNeil is in over his head on electricity as well, and many people are wondering if he is qualified to be Premier. But the quote was the final straw for reporters looking to do a story on the tone and tenor of the legislative session, and MacKinnon’s quote was the centre of that coverage.
To his credit, MacKinnon immediately apologized for the remark.
Clarrie MacKinnon did offer Nova Scotians another significant reason to support Muskrat Falls in that speech, however:
I want to begin by talking about Hillside in my constituency and the legacy that has been left by Liberals and Progressive Conservatives to the people of Hillside. Now Hillside is in the lee of the coal-fired generating station in Trenton. I have been there on picket lines when I was in Opposition, I was there on picket lines when I was a part of this government because the people of Hillside have had fly ash coming out on them for years and years and years, and we are moving away from that. I’ve seen the window ledges, I’ve seen the cars, I’ve seen the swimming pools with fly ash. I’ve seen, worst of all, the slides and the toys of children covered with fly ash. Some people may snicker on the other side of the House but I’ve seen that. I’ve seen children playing in flowered fields and the flowers are covered with fly ash.
Hillside knows too well the effects of sticking with coal. Clarrie MacKinnon wins the Honey Bee prize for raising this again in the House.
During a debate on why the Liberals criticize but don’t offer solutions, Kings North MLA offered this insight, winning the week’s Killer Bee prize for the quote with the most sting:
Jim Morton: We’ve had our economic difficulties here for many years as well, for decades, for more than a century. As I’ve said in this House before, my colleague for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has written a book called Away in which he describes one of the solutions that Nova Scotians have used for many years to deal with economic hardships and that’s to go somewhere else.
Throughout all this long history of troubles, who has had responsibility for governance in Nova Scotia? All I have to do is look to the other side. It is those folks on the other side who have had responsibility for governance in this province. They took turns in allowing Nova Scotia to flounder with old ideas that really favoured, in many terms, the privileged few. Some of us on this side of the House will know that Tommy Douglas has a great analogy in which he described that process as one of electing black cats and white cats. You could make a change without getting any change at all.
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
Allan MacMaster, and other Tories who want Nova Scotia to “go slow” on renewable energy, forget that the provinces with cheap electricity use hydroelectricity.
Allan MacMaster: What about $200 oil? We used to hear people talking about $200 oil. Oil is trading around $85 to $90 per barrel. No question, the price of fossil fuels has increased a lot in the last number of years, but there are reasons why it continues to fluctuate, and by that I mean it also goes back down.
The point of Muskrat Falls is stable rates for 35 years. Not a roller coaster of coal and gas increases and decreases, in world that is demanding more of both.