The new-look legislature kicked off Thursday with a bit of everything – political promises, opposition attacks and a drop-in by the Trailer Park Boys.
The NDP kicked off their first round in the legislature with a throne speech by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis that laid out its vision for the province. However, aside from a promise to overhaul the welfare system, the speech was almost entirely a rehashing of election promises.
Meanwhile, downstairs the Trailer Park Boys — in the midst of promoting their new movie — dropped by saying they wanted to see the premier. But because the House of Assembly was sitting at the time and they didn’t have an invitation, they got turned away at the lobby.
Back upstairs, the opposition parties wasted little time taking shots. Conservative Leader Karen Casey said the throne speech “lacked any substance.” Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil took things a step further.
“This party was so eager to get into government, so hungry for power, that they forgot to make a plan,” he said in his official response.
Still, the mood was decidedly light. When McNeil tried to make a negative comparison of the NDP to the previous government he said the Tories had been open and transparent with Nova Scotians. That sparked hoots of laughter from both the NDP and the normally quiet spectator balcony, as well as cheerful applause from the Tories.
Afterwards while talking to reporters, Premier Darrell Dexter defended the throne speech and said his government still plans to keep all of its election promises.
“For me this is a new beginning for a new government. It is about setting the right tone for the years to come,” he said.
Dexter said he wants his government to work more closely with opposition parties than previous administrations.