EDITORIAL – It’s play time in the Legislature kindergarten

Speaker Darryl Plecas.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

FOUR DAYS a week, the kids in the Legislature kindergarten play a game.

It’s called Question Period — officially known as Oral Questions — in which one side asks the other silly questions and gets sill answers.

There’s nothing much to learn from it, but it does give some clues as to how the two sides are fitting into their new roles.

Occasionally, the Liberals get in some good jabs, such when MLA Jas Johal ranted at Citizens Services Minister Jinny Sims for what he called her “cash-from-convicts” program, and when Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar called Agriculture Minister Lana Popham the “Minister of Intimidation.”

Johal was at it again Monday (Nov. 6, 2017), calling Transportation Minister Claire Trevina the Minister of Consultation Paralysis.

Quite fun. It’s darned awkward at times, though, as the Liberals must often read from prepared scripts, staring down at their desks the whole time they’re talking.

Veteran Cariboo MLA Donna Barnett did just that the other day as she demanded to know when the government would start revealing payments to wildfire contractors.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth spoiled it, though, when he told her all outstanding invoices had been paid and the info she was asking for was freely available. Oops.

On the other hand, government ministers aren’t usually that adept, instead relying day after day on such remarks as, “We don’t have to take any lessons from the members on that side of the House,” etc.

And for a party that was highly adept at heckling, the NDP members are constantly rattled as the Liberals turn the tables.

“If you really care about the answer, then pipe down,” an impatient Premier John Horgan said one day.

So, suffice it to say neither side is scoring any points, and there’s a lot more heat than light.

No wonder Speaker Darrel Plecas wondered aloud last week if the sudden departure from the public gallery by a class of school children was due to the quality — or lack of it — of debate on the floor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6311 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – It’s play time in the Legislature kindergarten

  1. I have to wonder what the province would look like, socially, economically, etc… if governments of the past had actually done something useful in the house. They collect a decently large paycheque courtesy of the taxpayer, but I wouldn’t allow any of them to mow my lawn. How sad is that??

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