Consideration of the Estimates for the Department of Agriculture

Today being a day off from school, Oliver had a more elastic bedtime last night, so we seized the opportunity to take in a sitting of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island.

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.


Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on October 27, 2007 - 17:40 Permalink

Is it sandstone, or limestone? I thought province house (and the ATC) was limestone.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 27, 2007 - 20:08 Permalink

Wallace sandstone has been quarried and finished for many major projects for the last 150 years. Used widely in new buildings, restoration and landscaping. Known as one of the most durable sandstones in the world this Nova Scotia sandstone has long been the first choice for architects, stone carvers, and homeowners. Gracing buildings like the Canadian Parliament, churches, universities, government buildings and private homes across North America with it’s classic olive grey color.”

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on October 27, 2007 - 20:48 Permalink

Interesting. I knew it wasn’t Island sandstone because if it was Province House would have crumpled to the ground long ago. I just assumed all sandstone looked like ours, but I guess the son of a geologist knows better.

Rockhound's picture
Rockhound on October 29, 2007 - 17:24 Permalink

The Flynn family operates the Wallace quarry and it is a truly wonderful place to visit. Similarly, the sandstone quarries near Sackville, NB were used in the construction of many historic buildings across British North America…

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on October 30, 2007 - 14:22 Permalink

ATC also uses Wallace standstone.
From the website comes this list of known historical buildings and monuments using it:

Parliament Buildings — Ottawa
Nova Scotia Legislature — Halifax
Prince Edward Island Legislature — Charlottetown
Montreal Stock Exchange- Montreal
Various Projects in Central Park — New York, NY
Customs Building- Montreal
Connaught Building- Montreal
St. Francis Xavier University — Antigonish, NS
Royal Victoria College — Montreal
National Research Council — Ottawa
Dalhousie University — Halifax
Mt. Allison University — Sackville, NB
University of New Brunswick — Fredericton, NB
Confederation Building — Charlottetown, PEI
McGill Medical Building — Montreal
American Consulate — Montreal
Church of the Advent — Boston, MASS

Ann's picture
Ann on October 30, 2007 - 19:00 Permalink

So, I think, does the new Jean Canfield Building.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on November 1, 2007 - 11:10 Permalink

Ann’s observation re the Canfield bldg. is confirmed:
“To reduce its visual impact on the surrounding urban fabric, the four-story, 186,260-square-foot building is articulated as two distinct components: an L-shaped north wing that defines the urban street edge and a south wing that accommodates a sun-filled urban park. All elevations reflect and reinforce the surrounding streetscape. A three-story glazed bay at the building