New Democrat MHA Dale Kirby speaks to reporters Wednesday afternoon outside the House of Assembly. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
New Democrat MHA Dale Kirby got thrown out of the House of Assembly this afternoon, after he refused to apologize for saying “thousands” when he should have said “about twenty.”
Kirby tables the same three petitions in the House of Assembly virtually every single day. The rules of the House say you can re-submit a petition if you have three or more new signatures on it.
On Thursday, Kirby submitted a petition saying that it had “thousands” of signatures.
While the petition on anti-replacement worker legislation did, in fact, have thousands of signatories, Kirby was only submitting around 20 new signatures.
On Monday, Government House Leader Jerome Kennedy raised the issue in the House, asking Speaker Ross Wiseman to force Kirby to apologize and withdraw the comment.
“I would suggest that this is a very serious matter where we have a Member of the House of Assembly who stands up and says, 'I am happy to enter this petition, which has been signed by thousands of people across Newfoundland and Labrador,'” Kennedy said. “Mr. Speaker, that kind of behaviour, I would suggest to you, is unacceptable, and something that should be frowned upon by this honourable House.”
Wiseman said Kirby could apologize Tuesday afternoon, but Kirby refused to do so.
At that point, Kirby was kicked out of the House.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Kirby was unapologetic.
“Of course, I'm smart enough to know the difference we hope between 20-odd and several thousand,” Kirby said. “I really don't feel like I did anything wrong. I don't feel like I misled anyone.”