"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

No need to bristle

From Labour Day 2006, to last night, inclusive, the House of Commons has sat for a total of 84 days.

In the same period, the Senate, which one wag (hi, wag!) once called "a bunch of old puppets sitting up there in Ottawa", has sat for 54 days.

The Ontario Legislative Assembly has sat for 53 days. The Saskatchewan legislature, 39. New Brunswick, 38, and that's despite being dissolved for the September 2006 provincial election.

The Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly has sat for 34 days since the start of last September. Nova Scotia's House of Assembly, 32 days. The National Assembly in Quebec, 29 days, and that's despite the recent dissolution and election. Nunavut, which like the NWT, is a territory, 28 days. B.C., 24 days.

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly?

Sixteen days.

There are few comparable degrees of legislative sloth anywhere else in Canada. You could consider the Yukon legislative assembly, which has sat for 13 days in the same period.

Yukon is a territory.

PEI has had 18 sitting days, Manitoba 16, and Alberta 11.

Alberta's legislature resumes sitting on April 2nd; PEI's picks up again the next day; Manitoba's, the day after that.

The House of Assembly? After sitting for three days so far in 2007, it's on an Easter Break... until April 24th.

Government MHAs have better things to do with their time than, say, answer questions that might accidentally make them accountable:

"Above all else, a government must be accountable and responsive to the people. Elected officials are the people's representatives, the people's voice, and must at all times act in the best interests of the Province as a whole... My government will provide real financial management, real transparency, and real accountability." — Danny Williams
As Maclean's reported of Danny in 2004, "he still bristles at the 'wasted time' in the House, and the daily distractions that take him away from the real work of governing."

Real work.

Like the "real work" of all MHAs, the much more important stuff, back in their districts.

Handing out cheques.


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