MLA booted from legislature during Yarmouth ferry debate

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Greg Bennett
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Chris d'Entremont, Argyle-Barrington MLA was booted from the Legislature during Quesion Period on Tuesday.

HALIFAX- Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont sounded unrepentant Oct. 21 after being ejected from the legislature.

The veteran Progressive Conservative MLA and former cabinet minister was ordered to leave during a heated question period exchange about the Yarmouth ferry.

PC leader Jamie Baillie had asked a question about the long-term viability of the Nova Star service and, as Premier Stephen McNeil was attempting to answer, d’Entremont chimed in that he didn’t trust the premier.

After several interruptions, d'Entremont was ordered to leave by Speaker Kevin Murphy.

“In 11 years in the legislature, it was the first time I’ve ever been ejected,” d’Entremont noted in an interview.

The MLA described the session as “chippy” as members bantered back and forth, but he said he didn’t believe it was out of the ordinary until he was told to leave.

He noted his ejection would highlight people’s growing concerns with the government’s deal with Nova Star cruises.

d’Entremont says he wants the service to work, but he and his party have serious reservations about the long-term viability of the ferry company.

Year one for the service hasn’t been smooth sailing. Last week, the provincial government announced it was providing another $5 million to help cover the costs associated with Nova Star’s first season. Oct. 14, hours after Nova Star docked in Yarmouth after its first season drew a close – Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson said the ferry service did not have the money needed to cover the outstanding costs of its expenses.

Nova Star ended its first season having carried 59,018 passengers. Numbers were low in May and June, picked up in July after several travel discounts to drive volume were introduced and were strong in August and September, in relation to how the season started out.

However, the figure is below the 100,000 passengers the company had said it was aiming for prior to the launch of the service.

Later in the season, the ferry company said into the season that for year one, that target was perhaps too ambitious. It also started the season two weeks later than originally planned and ended it three weeks early. There were six cancelled crossings during the season due to maintenance and a forecasted hurricane.

The provincial government has now provided $26 million to the service.

Geographic location: Yarmouth

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Recent comments

  • Clare Resident
    October 22, 2014 - 14:59

    It's a question of manners!!! Unless it's always a Gong Show in the Legislature. I don't think that Chris d'Entremont should have been interrupting the Premier when he was speaking. He was asked to leave by one member (not everyone). He could have taken that as a hint to keep quiet until it was time to speak. Even if it's PC talking to a Liberal Premier, and stating the obvious, (his lack of trust in Mr. McNeil), still does not make the interruptions right!

  • book
    October 21, 2014 - 18:59

    read Graham Steele's book interesting read, reveals lots of howss and why politicians operate in a certain way ....that was a tactic Manning MacDonald used as well...when things were slow for him and he needed attention he got booted...same as d'Entremont

  • Neal
    October 21, 2014 - 16:04

    Lookin' at things from a distance here, but it seems odd that the MLA representing the neighboring area would do something that got him kicked out of a discussion about the ferry!?!

    • Yarmouth Resident
      October 22, 2014 - 12:35

      It's sad to hear that the representative for the Yarmouth area has concerns about a service that is bringing business, tourists and new residents flooding into this part of the province. You think he would be the service's biggest advocate. Just think about how much more tax money was earned when those 59,018 passengers came into NS and bought souvenirs, went on tours, stayed at our hotels, and rented our cars. I think the passenger numbers are only going to improve. New businesses and services often do not do as expected the first year, they have to establish themselves. I have faith in our amazing province and believe more and more people will want to come here after they hear about others' vacation experiences.

    • Former Clare Resident
      October 23, 2014 - 15:56

      Yarmouth Resident, sorry but I think your living in a dream land, 26 million that was supplied by the gov't to bring in what? A few hundred thousand by tourist, wake up and smell the coffee.