Fall 2022 Sitting
The Sixty-Fourth General Assembly's First Session resumed on October 13, 2022 and adjourned on November 9, sitting for 18 days in total.
Nine of the 18 sitting days departed from the House's ordinary schedule. For five consecutive meetings, the House sat until 11:59 p.m. The longest meeting was held on October 21, when the House opened at 9:00 a.m. and sat for fifteen hours until 11:59 p.m. Although the House does not normally sit on Mondays, the Fall 2022 Sitting also included two Monday sittings (on October 17 and 24).
At the end of the Fall Sitting, his Honour the Lieutenant Governor assented to 24 Bills: 21 Government Bills, two Private Bills, and one Private Members' Public Bill.
Gender Neutral Rules
On October 13, 2022, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board introduced Resolution 386 to amend the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly by replacing gender-specific nouns and pronouns with gender-neutral ones. Resolution 386 received the House's unanimous consent to waive notice and to pass without debate.
Rulings on Questions of Privilege
Three questions of privilege were resolved during the second week of the Fall Sitting. All three questions asserted the same individual right to be free from intimidation. Based on the precedent for intimidation, the Rulings applied a two-part test for establishing a prima facie breach of privilege. First, viewed objectively, was there an intimidating action? And second, if there was indeed an objectively intimidating action, was there a corresponding impairment of a specific parliamentary duty or function?
The first two questions of privilege were raised by the Member for Bedford Basin and the Member for Cumberland North on the final day of the Spring Sitting (64th Leg, 1st Sess, 22 April 2022 at 2722-2725). Since both questions involved an overlapping set of factual allegations, they were disposed of through one concurrent Speaker's Ruling (64lh Leg, 1st Sess, 21 October 2022 at 3885-3889).
First, the Member for Bedford Basin claimed a breach of privilege from an insulting remark that the Minister of Economic Development (Lunenburg) admitted to uttering towards a group of Opposition Members gathered outside the chamber. The Speaker described the remark as "the sort that would be reprimanded by a teacher in a playground or reproached by a parent in a home." The remark was therefore not sufficiently grave to meet the high threshold of an intimidating action.
Second, the Independent Member from Cumberland...
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