Liberal MHA Paul Lane had some questions about schools in Mount Pearl, but he got more in the way of raucus laughter in the House of Assembly than answers.
“Many students, parents, and teachers in the Mount Pearl school system will see their school communities unnecessarily destroyed when there are other, less-disruptive solutions,” Lane said Wednesday. “One of the core issues is government forcing the school board to jam students into every inch of space, regardless of the numerous negative impacts, before any consideration will be given to capital improvement or school expansion requests.”
Education Minister Clyde Jackman smiled and said, “His method of posing questions has certainly changed since he crossed the green carpet, I have to say that.”
In January, Lane announced he would leave the Tories and join the Liberals. Until that point, he had been one of the most vocal partisans for the PC party.
Jackman explained the school board is responsible for the configuration of schools, and the government isn't interfering in that.
That wasn't good enough for Lane, so he asked a followup question, and straightened things out about about the floor-crossing business.
“Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that my method of asking questions has not changed. My ability to ask questions certainly has,” Lane said, before following up by asking about overcrowding at St. Peter’s Elementary and Mount Pearl Senior High.
At that point, MHAs on both sides of the legislature were laughing.
“Mr. Speaker, I have to say, I certainly did not think I did anything while he was over on this side to inhibit his questions,” Jackman said.
Jackman said the government has made moves to build schools in Paradise, C.B.S., Torbay and Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, but he did not mention overcrowding in Mount Pearl.