Back in the 1960’s – specifically between 1965 and 1970 – I remember rushing in from the school bus every day after school hoping that I didn’t miss the beginning of “Get Smart,” a show every kid watched and talked about in school the next day. There was a recent movie remake of that tv show starring Steve Carroll.
Maxwell Smart was a bumbling secret agent working for a spy agency called “Control” fighting evil agents in a criminal organization called “Chaos”. Through a series of serendipitous and humorous accidental events, Smart would always end up winning the day and foiling the schemes of Chaos agents.
Control agents worked in pairs and were each assigned numbers. Maxwell Smart was Control Agent “86”.
I thought of Agent 86 as Motion 86 was read in the House yesterday…hoping that just like Get Smart -and despite all the bizarre twists and turns that have happened over the years on this issue – Motion 86 would finally overcome the chaos and reestablish control. I guess we’ll see.
Here is a video clip of Motion 86 being read, followed by Peter Bevan-Baker speaking to the Motion before debate began.
The rest of the afternoon session was spent in debate on the Motion. It was fascinating to watch.
A number of Conservative Cabinet Ministers – Myers, MacEwan, Trivers, and MacKay bent over backwards to declare how much they had previously done to “get to the bottom” of the egaming and document destruction scandal while the Official Opposition. They all assured us they still want to get to the bottom of things. Then they all argued vehemently that a special standing committee was not necessary, suggesting they would not be supporting the Motion.
Shameful, shameful, shameful!
Worse. When the House adjourned, Myers went on social media to chastise the Greens for walking out during his ridiculous filibuster, as if they were acting unparliamentary by not listening to him talk about who he used to know and argue with in the house…jabber totally unrelated to Motion 86:
No Steven….a lot of Islander’s faith in Peter was significantly strengthened yesterday! I share Bevan-Baker’s disappointment with you and your government’s shameless, slippery behaviour in the House yesterday:
I also came across the following exchange between Cory Deagle and Health MacDonald..gotta admit, Cory’s response was pretty clever and he’s certainly not timid for a newbie MLA!
What would cause so much tension?
If ever there was a time and a need for a special committee looking into the way government information and records is withheld, destroyed and otherwise manipulated to thwart both democracy and justice it is now.
For Myers to stand and filibuster to avoid having to vote on this Motion was truly scandalous. It reeked of the smell of a dank backroom.
It was a desperate play by an increasingly impotent government solely designed to avoid having to vote on the Motion. Why would Myers do that? Because the PC Government is desperate to not relinquish exclusive management of the investigation process that they can control if it’s undertaken by a “third-party” external investigator: the PC members were willing to vote against the Motion if forced to do so, but knew the optics of that news story on Compass last night would not have favorable for the government.
The PCs may have succeeded in delaying a Vote on Motion 86 yesterday, however a day of reckoning will be coming soon. Motion 86 will likely come back to the House next week for further debate and a vote. What will happen then is anyone’s guess.
It would be a prudent political move for the Liberals to now disassociate themselves completely from whatever previously happened with the Liberals and egaming, record destruction, cover-up, etc. None of the current Liberal members were involved back then in any of that, so it should be easy for them to throw their full support behind Motion 86 when it comes back to the floor.
To remain silent and then vote in support of the PC Government to defeat this Motion will pretty much signal the end of the Liberal Party’s chances of regaining any respect from Islanders. It will tell us all they are not to be trusted and have nothing to offer as a government…they will become largely irrelevant, securing their status as a third party for years to come.
Peter Bevan-Baker and the Green Party have set themselves apart from both the Liberals and PCs by taking a stand on this issue at this time. It may have been the smartest decision of Bevan-Baker’s career.