Festive spirit alive as New Brunswick legislature wraps
Heated debate and finger pointing, usually commonplace at the New Brunswick legislature, took a back seat to singing and poem reading as the last session of 2016 wrapped up.
The last sitting day before the holiday break was unlike any other at the legislative assembly.
Speaker of the House Chris Collins advised upon commencing the Minister’s Statements portion that some rules wouldn’t be enforced quite as strictly as they normally are.
Green Party Leader David Coon apologized in advance before launching into a song sung to the tune of “Frosty the Snowman.”
“”Trash talking Enbridge, trash talking Enbridge look at the PCs go. Trash talking Enbridge, trash talking Enbridge that brought us closure woah,” Coon sang.
“I’ve got to hand it to you, I could never do that,” Collins said following Coon’s song.
Both the Opposition and provincial government joined in the festivities also.
PC MLA Kirk MacDonald read his side of the house’s version of “The Night Before Christmas,” while Liberal member Benoit Bourque provided his own spin which poked fun at many of his fellow party members before singing Merry Christmas to all New Brunswickers in a booming and impressive voice.
On a heartwarming note Carleton-York MLA Carl Urquhart brought a letter written by his father while stationed in Holland during World War II.
“It sure looks like quite a Christmas here, but I will make up for it when I get this old war over,” Urquhart read. “Good night, god bless, Merry Christmas, and don’t worry.”
After the legislature adjourned Urquhart explained why he felt compelled to share his father’s letter 72 years after it was written.
“We’ve been fighting a lot in the legislature and we’ve been arguing back and forth,” he said. “To me, a free democratic society does war on the floor of the legislature. Because Dad went to war I have that right to sit in there and go to war and I’m going to war over issues that he fought for.”
Urquhart received a standing ovation from all legislative members upon finishing the reading.
Collins later spoke before adjourning the session and expressed his appreciation for how members have carried themselves throughout the past year.
“We have an adversarial style of debate that we do on a regular basis that … we all try to do professionally and to do it with honour and passion, but with respect,” he said addressing the legislature. “I can see a significant move towards that.”
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