Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A day in the house

(crossposted to CanadaEast)

A bit of a non-routine day in the legislature today. Usually after the Throne Speech, the next day is just a quick run through of routine business followed by question period and an early adjournment. Today was a bit different.

Following condolences and introduction of guests (which I think they usually do on these days), Deputy Government House Leader Kelly Lamrock tabled a report of the House Procedures Committee to amend the standing rules. It was adopted unanimously. The report has not yet been published online but I will take a look when it is.

The Premier also tabled the Action Plan on Self-Sufficiency that was announced last week and gave some lengthy remarks on it, basically summarizing it and I believe also reinforcing some points that were made in the Throne Speeech.

In response, Opposition Leader Jeannot Volpé said he read it twice because on his first run he "couldn't find anything that would grow the province." He then went on to mock the use of non-definitive verbs such as study, examine, colloborate, etc that were used. He said there was nothing in the document to build the economy except the word "hope". He said the premier broke a promise to let students know about the future of "advanced education" in the Throne Speech. He concluded that there were no benchmarks to measure progress so it would be impossible to tell if there was any success.

Environment Minister Roland Haché also made a statement regarding designation of several wildlife protection areas. Trevor Holder made the opposition response.

Human Resources Minister Wally Stiles announced that an agreement was signed with the Community College Teachers Union. Dale Graham made the opposition response.

As usual, there were about 10 members' statements, all very political for both sides.

Question Period was extended from the ordinary 30 minutes to 45 minutes as is standard on the first day the House returns. The questions were:
  • Volpé - how much New Brunswickers will save based on some federal changes

  • Blaney, Dubé, Harrison, C. LeBlanc, Olscamp, Mockler (I may have missed some) - why don't we have an answer on post-secondary education, why aren't student leaders included on working group
The following bills were introduced:
  • Two insurance bills by Justice Minister T.J. Burke, regarding the agreement with insurers to lower rates, in response to the auditor general's report, and to change the licensing process for insurers and clarifying the appeal process to the insurance board

  • A pay day loan bill, also by Burke

  • An agriculture bill, by Ag&Aq Minister Ron Ouellette, giving the Farm Products Commission more power to enforce rules

  • An income tax bill, by Finance Minister Victor Boudreau, renewing the low income heating rebate program

  • An amendment to the motor carrier act, by Transportation Minister Denis Landry, to clarify the responsibilities of the Transport and Public Safety ministers in terms of road safety

  • The whistleblowers bill by Human Resources Minister Wally Stiles

  • A bill amending the off-road vehicle act, by Public Safety Minister John Foran, giving ATV and Snowmobile clubs equal standing and better access to trails

  • A bill changing enforcement of oil burners, also by Foran

  • A bill giving protection to employees who are reservists leaving work to go into service by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Ed Doherty
The opposition introduced a whole whack of tabling motions (which call for the government to present documents to the House).

And then Government House Leader Mike Murphy advised which bills would be up for debate on Friday.


Anonymous said...

Actually, Hache's statement was on designated wellfield protected areas.

nbpolitico said...

My mistake, I has half listening while working.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the liberals under McKenna said that they were going to do the same and make the province a "have" rather than a have not. Look what mess that has made of the economy and the call centers, they were a very poor investment and McKenna with all his business connections should be involved in righting his legacy of these. But he turned and ran to his Corporate gigs so I think that the liberals are going to go down that path a second time and invest in waste!

Anonymous said...

Very Good point!
Mckenna supposedly had all the magic answers to our economic problems, but he jump ship and ran to his corporate gig, problem is that no government will last long enough to see the plan through and be held accountable for it.
ie the call cnters are now struggling and where is McKenna to help his magic plan.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone else in this province that is tired of the "transformational change " mantra from Shawn Graham when describing policy direction; the time for generalizations is OVER!.Where is the promised government of action? We the taxpayers are the true employers of this current Liberal Graham government and as our employees their probation period is over.( We again demand value for our hard earned dollar!)Clear defined objectives with associated costs and relavent timelines are essential if he expects New Brunswickers to get behind his govt.Three simple words of advice to help Shawn and his ministers " GET TO WORK " the media love fest will not last forever .

Anonymous said...

Can you believe that McKenna retained a high approval rating after he lured giant corporations to the province by dangling our "cheap labour". What other leader would get away with that.He was a very deceptive politician who lacked ethics due to the growing brand name he created among the business elite to get things done at any and every cost even to the people of the province that allowed you to get there. Too bad that Dalton Camp didn't release his report about Smoke and Mirrors earlier.