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Given the heaviness of the last few weeks in the Third, we thought we would share some of the lighthearted and heartwarming stories from the legislature compliments of our MLAs.

On the first day of the House sitting, Sydney-Membertou MLA Derek Mombourquette recognized another Third MLA, Keith Bain from Victoria-The Lakes.

“I want to rise in my place very quickly to recognize my friend and colleague from Victoria-The Lakes, who’s proudly served as the Speaker of this House. More importantly, at times, for us Cape Bretoners, I like to consider him a generational politician on the Island. I joke with him, saying that he was an MLA before and after Facebook, so he’s survived it all. I do want to tell a quick story about him. We’ll hear lots about Speakers, but the first time I met Keith, I’m at the hospital at seven o’clock in the morning at an appointment. He shows up with a friend, and I said, “Are you all right, Keith?” He said that his buddy needed a drive to get to his appointment. He drove this guy over two mountain ranges for 2.5 hours so he would meet his appointment. That tells you what that MLA for Victoria-The Lakes has done for his constituents. As I said, Cape Breton has a long history of very successful politicians who have won multiple elections and have done a lot for their communities. He’s one of them. I was one of those young guys who watched him as I started out in my political career. I rise in my place to recognize the MLA for Victoria-The Lakes, but also a friend to me and a friend to many Cape Bretoners, for all the work that he’s done not only in this House, but for the constituents all over Cape Breton Island. Congratulations to my friend.”

The same day, Kendra Coombes, MLA for Cape Breton Centre-Whitney Pier celebrated New Waterford’s community Spirit Award.

“Speaker, I’m immensely proud of my community of Cape Breton Centre-Whitney Pier. Today I honour the residents of New Waterford and the surrounding area as the 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award recipients. The community was nominated by Island Breast Friends, a fantastic group of people who raise money and provide comfort packages to people undergoing breast cancer treatments. This community rallies together in times of need, celebrates the accomplishments of individuals and organizations, comes together as a community in times of grief, and comes together as a community to celebrate all of our achievements. It is a community that gives back and has a strong volunteer base in many of its community organizations. I ask the House to join me in congratulating the community of New Waterford and surrounding area on receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.”

During the first full week of the House in session, Glace Bay MLA John White recognized the Bargain Shop (Oct 17)

“Glace Bay is a small town, which presents certain challenges. One thing we do not struggle with is the willingness to stand up for others. During this Small Business Week, I would like to honour The Bargain Shop on Commercial Street, a fairly typical business at first glance. If you watch long enough, you’ll soon realize that something special is going on here. This business is just as concerned about supporting the community as it is about a healthy marketplace. The Bargain Shop is supportive of fundraising events all year long, but Christmas is when they go above and beyond. For example, during this last Christmas, The Bargain Shop hosted a toy drive for the Jay It Forward movement. This group often partners with the Christmas Crew Society. Together, they make sure that tens of thousands of dollars of toys are wrapped and delivered to underserved children all over Cape Breton. Speaker, businesses need communities, and communities need businesses. This is a relationship clearly understood in Glace Bay.”

Fred Tilley, MLA for Northside-Westmount used his first opportunity during the House sitting to gush about the importance of October to Tilley family. (Oct 18)

“Speaker, October is a very important month in the Tilley household. My wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary on October 2nd; my parents celebrated their 58th anniversary on October 2nd; my daughter’s birthday - turned 28 on October 10th; and just this past weekend on October 14th, we were able to celebrate her marriage to Liam Nicholson. It was an amazing day that we got to share with friends and family. We’re so proud of our daughter Emily and her new husband Liam, who treats her like a queen - and she treats him like a king. That’s all a parent can ask for. I want to wish them a wonderful congratulations and a happy and prosperous life together.

And on Oct 25, Brian Comer, MLA for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg praised the Cape Breton office of Natural Resources and Renewables for their hard work during Fiona and the forest fires.

“Speaker, I rise in my place today to recognize the incredible staff of the Cape Breton District Office of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables. Time and time again, these dedicated civil servants go above and beyond for their community. Recently, our province had certainly gone through some challenging times with natural disasters, which were all supported by staff from DNRR districts across the province. The Cape Breton team rose up to this challenge to assist with the post-Fiona cleanup across Cape Breton. This year was Cape Breton District’s turn in assisting their fellow Nova Scotians with the wildfires in Halifax and Shelburne Counties. I just want to thank the staff at this office: Matthew Peck, John Sterling, Glen Adams, Dave Osborne, Evan Boudreau, Glenn Wallace, Dave Young, Mark MacPhail, Kalen MacMullin and Josh Kruger. I ask that all members please join me in thanking the staff for their dedicated service to our province.”

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