Visit to the Legislature

Yesterday I visited the NB Legislature to attend the debate on a Liberal motion that commits the government to providing accessible post-secondary education. The motion was a lot of fluff and doesn’t hold the government accountable to anything, but it’ll be nice to wave it in the faces of the Torries if they ever have an inkling to save money by leaning on students. The visit itself was awful. When I got to the Legislature, there was a lot of confusion about why I was there. In a veritable “WTF?”, security finally discerned that I wanted to go to the gallery. If I didn’t have people who had done this before tell me what to expect, I’m sure my confusion could have been mistaken for apprehension and I’d have been tazed or something.

I arrived early to go through security. It was intense - “airport security” intense. They checked my bag, my jacket, under my belt buckle, and took my license before printing me a visitor’s badge. Kicker: when i finally got through security, with my x-ray’d bag, they made me leave my bag at the front desk! Why  bother scanning it if I can’t bring it with me?

When I finally made it up there, the motion to undo the Conservative cut to the film tax credit. I got out my iPhone to text a friend who was also coming that I’d made it through security when a guard appeared beside me and told me that I wasn’t allowed to use any electronics. Whoa. So I went back downstairs to make a call. I asked permission first, and security was thoroughly confused as to why I’d ever want to do that. On my way back up, I noticed a sign to visitors forbidding electronics, recording, or note-taking. I’m serious: you can’t even take notes in the building.

The sheer ridiculousness of the security procedures aside, not being able to take notes on or tweet about my government’s going-ons seems very peculiar. I can’t think of any good reason for these restrictions.

Debate on the motion was filled with herp and derp; mostly grandstanding from the Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Labour and Wes McLean about how much they care about students. They also talked about how important it was for families to contribute to their children’s education. The inanity of this sentiment deserves and entire post of it’s own.

All in all, the best part about the visit was an opportunity to practice listening to French, since my chops are a little rusty.


Posted on April 8, 2011