MHAs sworn in

James
James McLeod
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Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on October 28, 2011

MHA's sworn in — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

One by one, they walked up to the head of the House of Assembly, and were formally sworn in as the people’s representatives in the province’s legislature.

Chief Justice David Orsborn, who presided over the ceremony Thursday morning, called it a significant part of the democratic process.

“We are fortunate to live in a real democracy. We are fortunate to live in a society that consents to being governed by the rule of law. We are fortunate to have a tradition of institutions of governance: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary,” he said. “Their legitimacy and, indeed, our democracy is founded on society’s continued consent and its continued respect for those institutions.

In total, 45 members of the House of Assembly were sworn in — Dale Kirby from the NDP and Jim Bennett from the Liberals were unable to make it Thursday. Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman cannot be sworn in until a recount in his district is settled in mid-November.

Opposition used Thursday’s brief sitting of the House of Assembly to lament the fact that there won’t be a full fall sitting of the legislature.

When newly minted Speaker Ross Wiseman called to adjourn, opposition members all voted against it.

“I love the House of Assembly. Anybody who has watched me in political life will certainly realize that. I like the debate, the opportunity to ask questions and hold government accountable,” Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones said. “When it’s not open, it makes our job tougher as an opposition, but it makes the voices of people smaller right across the province.”

Premier Kathy  Dunderdale has said the House won’t open because the government doesn’t have any legislation ready to introduce.

“There’s work that’s ongoing all the time, but when you’re ready to bring it to the House of Assembly, there’s a whole vetting process,” she said. “These are laws that you’re enacting that directly affect the lives of men, women and children in our communities, and I’m not going to go at that with any kind of haphazard or rushed way.”

But NDP Leader Lorraine Michael dismissed that idea.

“I don’t buy the premier’s argument that there’s no legislation to be had. They’ve been a government since 2003,” she said. “They’ve got the same slate of ministers that they had before, and their priorities as a government haven’t changed.”

Even if it was only for a short time, Michael was beaming about being in the House with a caucus of MHAs. With a total of five members, the NDP has, for the first time in their history, a front bench and a back bench of MHAs in the House.

“It feels great, and I’m not hiding it,” Michael said.

The day was also exciting for rookie MHAs from all three parties.

St. John’s East PC member Dan Crummell said he was “humbled” swearing allegiance to the Queen and taking the oath as MHA in the House.

“(I’m) Very excited, very humbled to be in that room that is so historic,” he said.

New Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons was also excited, partly because his father, former MHA Kelvin Parsons, was in the public galleries watching as he was sworn in.

“To have my father as well as my wife and my mother there, it just made it that much more special,” he said. “Obviously, it’s something my father and I share now, and it’s something that I’m sure he’s proud of.”

NDP member Christopher Mitchelmore — the youngest member of the House — said he’s just happy to get down to work.

“It just solidifies the next step and affirms, basically, that this is actually official now, that I am the member for The Straits-White Bay North,” he said.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: NDP

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Recent comments

  • Corner B'y Tom
    October 28, 2011 - 09:55

    Ha! No Tom Osborne. Surprised? Never. Shocked that St. John's South can not smell the coffee after 16 years is what is shocking. Will Tom cross the floor - if so it will be as an independent I'd guess.

  • Taylor Stevenson
    October 28, 2011 - 08:58

    "St. John’s East PC member Dan Crummell said he was “humbled” swearing allegiance to the Queen and taking the oath as MHA in the House." Dan Crummell - is St. John's WEST PC.....

  • Harvey
    October 28, 2011 - 08:19

    Dunderdale has learned well from her "sweetheart" Harper. Let's Simms and Reid off from work to campaign and then back they go, no questions asked...refuses to open the House of Assembly(remember Harper's peroguing of parliament?) And on it will go...the dangers of majority governments when dictators are in control.