Each week the Legislature is in session we’ll give out four prizes for the best and worst moments, as recorded in Hansard.
In the first of his two prizes this week, Zach Churchill wins the Bumble Bee prize for the error prone for suggesting only the NDP are talking about the Liberal’s trust fund and the Allan J. MacEachen Institute.
Zach Churchill: I think it is a sad state of affairs that the NDP is still trying to perpetuate this story that’s really a non-story. No one is talking about this; no one is asking questions about it, but them. It’s because there has been an effort to mislead the public on what is actually happening here.
Actually, the Progressive Conservatives are talking about the trust fund as well.
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
In the continued debate on the status of the tainted Liberal trust fund, Zach Churchill suggested there should not even be a debate because it might hurt the feelings of Allan J. MacEachen.
Zach Churchill: I really think what this government needs – who they need to apologize to is Allan J. MacEachen and his good name because in this sort of attack, this baseless attack that they’ve been perpetrating, they are attacking Allan J. MacEachen, who is a great Nova Scotian we are all proud of. He’s a proud Liberal.
What rot. The idea that one of the biggest scandals in Nova Scotia history, the monetary affects of which continue to this day, should not be debated in the Legislature because it might hurt someone’s feelings is juvenile.
Kings North NDP MLA Jim Morton followed Cape Breton MLA Eddie Orrell’s debate on fiscal prudence and Nova Scotia’s balanced budget with a strong reminder of the legacies of both Opposition parties:
Jim Morton: Nova Scotia is only one of four Canadian provinces to prepare a balanced budget during this time, a budget which earned the Auditor General’s unqualified opinion for its revenue projections.
It’s amusing to have the member for Cape Breton North raise the question of fiscal prudence. His Party is the Party that left behind the fiscal mess that we were dealing with, and I would remind everyone in this House, left behind the structural situation that would have led to a deficit of $1.3 billion. It’s his Tory Party whose idea of health care policy was to invest millions in kiddy ATVs, it’s his Tory Party whose recklessness included spending the $68 million of the BFIT recreational program in three years, a program that was intended to be carefully spread over 10 years.
Maybe, Madam Speaker, the Tories still think they can buy the votes of Nova Scotians. I, for one, haven’t forgotten the $155 cheques that were delivered to many Nova Scotians during a couple of elections back. Tories and Liberals, when it comes to fiscal thinking, are content to bask in what I sometimes think of as the glow of magical thinking, that promise of lower taxes while combined with increased spending and increased services and more and better services. The problem is that neither the Liberals nor the Tories can show where that kind of thinking has actually worked.
That kind of thinking fuelled the Liberal’s 2009 election campaign. In the 2009 election campaign the Liberal Party made $227 million worth of promises and they outlined those promises in the 33-page booklet that led The Chronicle Herald to wonder in its editorial whose dog ate Page 34. I think what the Liberal campaign did was make some empty promises and had no plan. Perhaps the Liberals are content with, or comfortable with, the fantasy of easy money, because for many years they had access to as what we all know as the Liberal trust fund.
In his speech before the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, Lunenburg West NDP MLA Gary Ramey also reminded the Legislature of the Liberal’s record of rolling back teacher’s wages as part of that party’s last failed attempt to balance their budget. It was Ramey’s simple point of Nova Scotia’s balanced budget that wins him the Honey Bee prize for good work.
Gary Ramey: I’m very pleased that Nova Scotia is one of four Canadian provinces that has been able to balance its budget while providing expanded services for its citizens. This is no mean feat and it’s an accomplishment that has been appreciated by my constituents and by many Nova Scotians across our province. It is a fact, however, the significance of which seems, for whatever reason, to have escaped my colleagues on the other side of the House; both the Liberal Party and those in the PC Party have tried at all costs to trivialize the importance of this accomplishment. It is a position which separates them from many of the citizens of our province.