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Tuesday 23 April 2013


On Tuesday, the Speaker of the House of Assembly arose and read an unqualified apology to MHA Gerry Rogers, whom he ousted from the Legislature, last week.  The eviction had been the result of her unwitting association with a Facebook group against the Premier.  The facts of the matter are well known. 

Having apologized, the Speaker has restored the dignity of his Office, one which is essential to the proper functioning of the Legislature, in the face of a ruling that was simply wrong.  He has also confirmed that as a person, he is capable of error and of admitting to the same; a fact that will enhance his reputation as one capable of conducting his duties without partisanship.
Ms. Rogers, in accepting the Speaker’s apology, told reporters that he should also apologize to the people of the Province.  A more seasoned Member would know when a legitimate grievance has been answered.

Still, the matter is not quite over.
Missing was the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Justice, who led the charge against the Member, laid out a contrived case and demanded the apology which led to the Speaker’s unjust ruling.  Darin King is remiss in not having followed the Speaker’s lead. His silence suggests that he is not man enough to admit that he, too, had erred; the Premier ought to have nodded in his direction, with raised eyebrow.  There is always Wednesday.

The Government may have taken the view, given the Speaker’s admission of a highly publicized mistake, he had ‘taken one for the team’.  That would be an unfortunate conclusion. The Speaker does not speak for the Government; that is the role of the Premier, the Government House Leader or another Minister whom the Premier might designate.  Indeed, at this juncture, the Government, if it possesses any smarts, will go out of its way to detract, from the Speaker, any hint of partisanship; Ross Wiseman still has possession of his Office and there are many more difficult days of partisan acrimony ahead.

In short, the Government needs to put this matter behind it.  It has taken a bad bruising.  It must be painfully aware of that fact.  A wise Premier will bring the matter to a complete end.  FULL STOP.   

The Government has fences to mend; with two and one-half years left in the Tory mandate and big baggage piling up, the Premier needs to conduct a re-set.  She should waste no time; moreover, the public likes to see the odd mea culpa, especially from the righteous.  This is a good place to do it.

Besides, while the Speaker may not have earned the status of social media gadfly, unlike some in the Tory Caucus, Minister King is at least a frequent user.  He knew, or ought to have known, the difference in the position he advanced and the real truth of Rogers and her Facebook association. He has no excuse.

Having performed that duty to Gerry Rogers, to the Tory Caucus and to the entire House of Assembly, the Government can try, again, to move forward.   Minister King, you have a job to do.