Given that we are a neighbour of Province House, this didn’t take much planning: door to door it’s about 35 seconds. We really should be going every night.
Unfortunately we choose a rather moribund night to attend: the agenda for the night was the “Consideration of the Estimates for the Department of Agriculture.” This meant that most of what went on was the reading of line items from the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure like “Appropriations provided for grants to the P.E.I. Association of Exhibitions… $202,800” followed by interplay between the members of the Opposition and the Minister.
In other words, important stuff, vital stuff, and the very-most inner working of the democratic engine. But not exactly in Dora the Explorer territory in terms of child entertainment value.
Nonetheless, Oliver is one for spectacle, and what with all the dressing up in robes, the Mace, the ringing of the bells and so on, his interest was piqued. When our presence was recognized from the floor — and thus immortalized in the records of the House for all time — he was very impressed.
That all said, the highlight of the visit was the reception we received from the Commissionaires: they were welcoming, helpful, answered all of Oliver’s questions, let him hold the big skeleton key to the Public Gallery, and even made him up a special Province House ID badge. They transformed an environment that could otherwise feel like an airport security line into something that felt, well, like home. Which is exactly what Province House should feel like.
By coincidence, our friend G. happened to spend the day yesterday in Wallace, Nova Scotia, picking up some slabs of Wallace sandstone. From the same quarry that provided the stone for Province House back in the 1840s.