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This pic, courtesy of freelance reporter Anne Cote (the only scribe to slog through until the wee hours of committee) is the tame version of what went on earlier this week when your elected officials were supposed to be debating the minutia of democratic process.mablog.jpg It’s Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen, Emerson MLA Cliff Graydon and Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson -- all decked out in their memorabelia. (Click on it for a bigger image.)The other night in the justice committee, the NDP called a short recess that stretched into nearly an hour. All geeked up on energy drinks with no one to filibuster, the Tories launched a mock committee, with Goertzen at the head of the table playing Chomiak. I sure wish there was video. Sadly, there’s only this art.Down the hall a few nights earlier, there was another weird encounter involving a Tory staff note Labour Minister Nancy Allan apparently yonked right out from under Tory MLA Len Derkach’s nose. I’ve heard a couple versions of the story, and it sounds like the truly high-school parts of the incident weren’t captured in Hansard.What is on record is Derkach demanding the note be returned to him and threatening to get security if it wasn’t. All the while the chair of the committee dithered and said she’d take the matter under advisement. The note was eventually returned, when a real adult in the form of Health Minister Theresa Oswald intervened.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.

She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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