Question period at the Manitoba legislature is a great time for me to catch up on email.
That’s because, sitting up in the media perch, there’s not that much else to do.
Because there’s certainly nothing happening on the floor below, unless you like hearing the Tories repeat the words "tired and desperate" and the NDP the words "reckless and arrogant" again and again and again and again.
Other reporters check up on the Facebook profiles and one religiously plays BrickBreaker on his Blackberry. He’s gotten pretty good at it.
Some MLAs apparently feel the same way about question period.
One for sure updates his Facebook status and there are more than a few who sign and seal their Christmas cards.
I’ve spied a bunch of them, the odd cabinet minister too, with their Blackberries out during question period. I’d like to think they’re busy answering constituent concerns and making sure the wheels of government don’t come spinning off.
But I’d be wrong.
There’s also a couple of MLAs that I’m sure catch up on sleep missed from the night before. It’s so obvious they might as well bring in a pillow.
Anyway, the problem with keeping your nose to your BB screen during QP is that you can miss some good stuff.
Like on Friday.
Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton was out of his seat talking to NDP Interlake MLA Tom Nevakshonoff when a teeny-tiny bit of the ceiling fell off and hit him on the shoulder.
The guess is with all the snow we’ve had and the legislative building being as old as it is, there’s a bit of a leak where melting snow is getting through the ceiling window and under some of the plasterwork. It appears to be bubbling up and small pieces of paint and plaster are now flaking off.
At this point it doesn’t appear too severe and no one is in any danger.
No, the bigger threat to the senses is what passes for debate on the floor.