Education Minister George Abbott held court in the legislature hallway this week with an extended riff on Yertle the Turtle that had everyone chuckling.
The Dr. Seuss book, about turtles trying to assert their rights against their king, became controversial after a school administrator in Prince George banned a teacher from displaying a quote because it might be considered a political slogan.
Abbott said he doesn't have a problem with Yertle, except in moments where the reptile sounds like George Orwell.
"You know, one day if it's Dr. Seuss, the next day it'll be Curious George, and I think when we see Dr. Seuss followed by Curious George, all of western civilization is in considerable danger," Abbott said.
"I think people just need to keep a sense of proportion around these things and the icons of our infancy should be safe."
One reporter prodded him to continue with a tongue-in-cheek critique of the Berenstain Bears.
"Well, I've always had some reservations about Berenstain Bears," mused the minister.
"I feel like at times there's some sexism that creeps into that. You know, the remainder of the Berenstain Bears are fine.
Papa Bear, I think, is at risk of being politically incorrect at points."
It was quickly suggested Papa Bear be referred to by a more PC name, "Patriarchal Bear."
Wouldn't want to offend anyone.
PUNK POLITICS - A headbanger may turn to desk-banging after the next election.
Joey Keithley, a fixture with the Vancouver punk group DOA for many years, is expected to run for the NDP in a Metro Vancouver riding.
Keithley was better known as Joey S-head during DOA's run. He is considered an important influence in the history of punk.
NDP leader Adrian Dix hasn't commented publicly yet, but is known to be concerned.
One of DOA's albums was called Let's Wreck the Party.
SHOW TIME - B.C. Liberals have spent years trying to eradicate red tape by hunting down and eliminating unnecessary or just plain dumb regulations.
Looks like they missed one. NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert pointed out a puzzling requirement during debate on some Motion Picture Act amendments. If a film version of any movie gets transferred into digital format to be played digitally at theatres, the movie has to go through the classification process again.
"So you could have just shown Snow White on Monday in film format, but then a week later you want to show it in digital format.
It's the same film, but now you have to pay to classify it again. That, to me, does not make a lot of sense - to require somebody to classify something which is the same except for the format it was in."
PANTS-FREE POLICY - It can be distracting to defend government policy when you aren't wearing any pants.
So says Ralph Sultan, Liberal MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano, who took advantage of the trousers-optional radio loophole during an appearance on Sean Holman's Public Eye Radio (Sunday on CFAX 1070 AM).
Sultan told Holman he didn't agree that the government was exempt from certain time limits in a new bill on civil lawsuit deadlines. The NDP's Leonard Krog jumped on the comment, but Sultan was quick to explain to the legislature.
He thought the interview was set for 9 a.m. but his phone rang at 8 a.m.
"It's Sean Holman's producer: 'Are you ready to go? You're on the air in five minutes,' " Sultan said.
"I didn't have a stitch of clothing on. Thank God it was only radio.
"So I sat there for half an hour. I didn't even have a towel. I plead distraction from fully comprehending the point that I was making about the government looking after its own."
Justice Minister Shirley Bond closed debate by saying Sultan's speech left her with "some visuals that I think we could well have done without," but thanked him for his candour.
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