When the opposition walked into Province House Thursday they were ready to hammer the government on its inaction when it comes to funding insulin pumps.
So what did Premier Robert Ghiz do? He made a surprise announcement that hijacked the news cycle and undercut the opposition’s ability to score any political points.
The opposition went to the house armed and ready.
Opposition Leader Steven Myers had seven questions for Ghiz about why the government wasn’t funding insulin pumps.
It was a good issue that will have a big impact on the people who will benefit from the program.
There was a crowd in the gallery, all brought in by the opposition and waiting to hear debate of a motion calling for funding.
All of that went out the window when Ghiz presented his “worst case scenario” of a funding announcement by the spring.
The crowd cheered.
Ghiz hears a lot of things when he’s on the floor of the legislature, but cheering from the public is rarely one of them and it was probably the last thing the opposition expected.
When asked, Ghiz said his announcement had nothing to do with the people in the gallery or the opposition’s motion.
Even so, it was so effective that whatever happened throughout the rest of question period got little attention and the Liberals were able to pat themselves on the back during the motion debate.
It passed in a unanimous vote.
Ghiz’s announcement even trumped his own finance minister’s not entirely terrible fiscal update, which the government could have tried to trumpet as another victory, albeit a minor one.
While the opposition claimed the win for raising the issue in the first place, the Liberals succeeded in controlling day’s agenda and making themselves look a lot better than they would have otherwise.
That leaves the question of who really won open to debate.