Unapologetic MHA kicked out of the House

James McLeod
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Dale Kirby asked to leave legislature for failing to withdraw comment

New Democrat MHA Dale Kirby chose to be thrown out of the House of Assembly Tuesday afternoon, when he refused to apologize for saying “thousands” when he probably should have said “about 25.”

Kirby ran afoul of Speaker Ross Wiseman for saying he was tabling a petition with thousands of signatures in the House when in fact, Thursday afternoon he was only submitting between 20 and 30 signatures on a petition calling on the government to pass anti-replacement worker legislation.

“My statement, and you can read it in Hansard, was that this is a petition that thousands of people have signed, right? And it is a petition that thousands of people have signed,” Kirby told reporters after he was tossed out of the legislature. “I guess, you know, the way it looks in Hansard is that I was referring to thousands that I had in my hand. Of course I’m smart enough to know the difference — we hope — between 20-odd and several thousand.”

Opposition politicians use petitions as a way to needle the government and eat up speaking time in the legislature.

An MHA is allowed to re-table any petition with three or more new signatures on it. This has led Kirby and some other opposition MHAs to re-submit the same petitions dozens of times.

Kirby has petitions on anti-replacement worker legislation and school busing issues he tables virtually every day in the House, each time with a few more signatures.

Last week, Kirby submitted the same petition again, and said he was “happy to enter this petition, which has been signed by thousands of people across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

On Monday, government House leader Jerome Kennedy took umbrage.

“I would suggest that this is a very serious matter,” Kennedy said. “That kind of behaviour, I would suggest to you, is unacceptable, and something that should be frowned upon by this honourable House.”

After studying it for a day, Wiseman sided with Kennedy and demanded Kirby apologize and withdraw the comment.

When Kirby refused to do so, Wiseman directed the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove Kirby from the House.

“I’ll remove myself from the chamber,” Kirby said.

Kennedy declined to speak to reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Kirby said he won’t let up on his petition campaign in the coming weeks, even though he’s clearly annoying folks on the government side of the House.

“It suggests to me that the government members are dissatisfied with the frequency with which we present petitions in the legislature,” he said.

“To them, I just say, tough.”


Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Hansard, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Jerome Kennedy should grow up
    June 06, 2012 - 18:24

    Kennedy thinks he's in a court room. He's not. Kirby is just the latest target of his pettiness. No wonder they picked Dunderdale and not him because he would be a far worse leader than she is (and she is pretty feaking bad!)

  • Dave
    June 06, 2012 - 12:16

    Dale Kirby is an opportunist and a media hog using this to put his name in the limelight once again. He tweets and takes pictures of everything he does in the community so i don't buy for one minute it's out of the goodness of his heart. All he does in the house is criticize for the sake of criticizing. I'm not overly fond of the government side either, but i wouldn't vote for him if he were the only candidate on the ballot.

  • Joseph McGrath
    June 06, 2012 - 11:33

    Most members of the Third Party are proving to be political flops and that Kirby guy is winning the race by far..I cannot remember a single productive word from him since the election.Now it could be me but I don't think so.When he speaks in the House he makes as much sense as the driver of a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyones arguing over where they're going to sit”What a dud!!!!!Maybe he is better suited back at Memorial University where it is an inherent right to be a fool and get a pay cheque for it!!!

  • Randy
    June 06, 2012 - 10:50

    Kirby is of the hardest working MHAs in there. The Conservatives keep targeting him for nonsense and on technicalities because they are worried about where he could go in politics. He should be flattered by all the attention.

  • T. Sleeveen
    June 06, 2012 - 10:17

    Mr. Kirby's performance so far has been a dissappointment to say the least. Why is he always angry? He seems to want to project that our province is a miserable place to live. While I understand not everyone is happy, but overall, we are doing well when compared to others. While I did not support the premier when she said the House was dysfunctional, I am beginning to believe her after reading this story. What a waste of time tabling Petitions everytime you add 3 names when there are better things to discuss. when you get a few thousand names, then bring it forward, other than that you are simply stalling and wasting time. Typical left wing blathering.

  • Sandra
    June 06, 2012 - 10:12

    Why did people want the house open for this kind of foolishness. The government of the day defends, the opposition lambasts! It would be so good if they could work together for the common good of the province - but I guess that would not win them votes nor put them in power.

  • Republic-of-NL
    June 06, 2012 - 10:03

    Jack - June 6, 2012 at 09:47:14 I do believe when you speak in the Legislature you're under oath, correct? Then it would seem that a petition of 30 signatures, but claiming it to be thousands would be a false statement, would it not? Some might even call it a lie. To my knowledge a false statement under oath, or however it is deemed. Here is just one violation. • Members may not use displays or props to illustrate their remarks. Here is a link to the House of Assembly Newfoundland & Labrador http://www.assembly.nl.ca/pdf/MembersParliamentaryGuide.pdf

    • Jack
      June 06, 2012 - 12:04

      Republic-Of-NL, based on your twisted logic, if that was true, all MHAs would have been removed for lying, especially Jerome Kennedy, Susan Sullivan, Kathy Dunderdale, and Darin King. Secondly, if they were under oath, the Speaker would have got everyone to raise their right hand, and then he/she would say "do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?", and everyone would say "I do". Because no oath is sworn like in the courts, its not enforceable. In addition, since we know all politicians lie, but only Dale Kirby is ejected, you don't know what double standard means, which is a form of discrimination. Double standard is when you enforce the rules on one party or person, but not another. Since an NDP member was removed for lying, but not a PC member for similar acts, then there's obviously a double standard, proving that Wiseman and Kennedy are discriminating based on political affiliation, and that itself is illegal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Dan
    June 06, 2012 - 09:46

    This is what counts as newsworthy?? Pfft who cares, the PCs are just a bunch of bullies not looking to answer to the people of this province, do some REAL work for a change.

  • redrantingtory
    June 06, 2012 - 09:42

    A petition with 25 names? Why in God's name would you table something with 25 names on it to try and change legislation? Dale Kirby as turned out to be a joke and a very poor politician. I guess the problem is anyone with a mouth can run for office. Sometimes you get good people sometimes you don't. There are no qualifications to run and this is what you get sometimes, the bottom of the barrel. Now the others aren't much better but this as to be the most stupid idea I have ever heard and to keep adding one or two names to the petition and then table it agian with still only 25 names is pitiful. Now wonder the public as such a dim view of our politicians. Why would you expect governement to change any legislation due to a petition with 25 names on it? So we see the tactics of the "third"party. Pretty feeble minded if you ask me. We need better and deserve better. These people like Kirby run and tell us they are going to change the system, when all they do is carry on with the same old party line and crap. It's all about power and deception on all sides. Just like Lorraine Michaels questons yesterday asking why government weren't at the bargaining table with Kruger and the unions? Since when have government sat in on any priviate negotations? Never. It's just posturing by Michaels . She as fallen in the same pit as Kirby with these childish actions. The opposition parties have not come up with and original idea since they were voted in. All I hear is partisan bull and these little games like Kirby is playing to tie up the legislature. Pitiful and stupid.

  • Partisans, like John Smith, make me sick
    June 06, 2012 - 09:35

    John Smith's mindset is so fossilized, the only place for it to be displayed is in a "newly to be created "Dishonorable Museum". The Museum should be created to dishonor the catastrophic mistakes made over the years, through the development and give away of our province's "raw" natural resources, by the very politicians we elected to rule for the advancement and betterment of our Newfoundland and Labrador people. Of course there would a section in the Museum to "dishonor partisans", like John Smith whose sole purpose is to massage the ego of the politicians he is hoping will propel him into prosperity. I cannot believe that John Smith cannot disseminate the information at hand that comes directly from NALCOR's own compiled statistics (information presented many times by Mr. Adams) that explains that we do not need the hydro energy at this time and that the price to build Muskrat Falls will bankrupt the province.

  • Seeing through the smoke
    June 06, 2012 - 09:14

    Wow, look at all the venom from the PC party faithful. They must be intimidated by this opposition MHA. It speaks volumes that the government side politicians will deflect debating the contents of the petition in favour of petty semantics. Anything to avoid accountability.

    • seeing thru the smoke
      June 06, 2012 - 10:20

      Wow, look at all the venom from the Lib and NDP party faithful. They must really believe that deceiving the House is acceptable. Looks like they're ready to govern.

  • William Daniels
    June 06, 2012 - 09:00

    Kennedy should have got the boot for wasting everyones time. Wiseman and his buffoonery are just a puppet for Harperdale.

  • holy smokes
    June 06, 2012 - 08:41

    Kirby ran afoul of Speaker Ross Wiseman ex minister of health???????????????? -------Of course I’m smart enough to know the difference — we hope — between 20-odd and several thousand.”....Well Rossy isn't .....it appears...Stand your ground!! Follow up with the petition supplemented with the numbers you refer to and have 'Rossie' apologize for being a 'tory hack'.....that no one can deny!

  • Bernard
    June 06, 2012 - 08:33

    The NDP are looking more and more amateur everyday. And the shenanigans of the government are an embarrassment!

  • sammy
    June 06, 2012 - 08:31

    Maybe Kirby should start a petition to have an "election recall" on Kennedy.

  • Dave
    June 06, 2012 - 08:23

    I thought Dale was going to do things differently when he got in! Looks like the same old thing to me. Oh yeah but Dale does his talking on Twitter...lol.

  • Too Funny
    June 06, 2012 - 08:09

    I guess Kirby will have to toughen up and start carrying those boxes of petitions into the House. He played the same hand too many times and was unprepared when he got called on it. It's a rookie mistake, that's all.

  • Don
    June 06, 2012 - 08:00

    The good thing about this is that this will be Kirby's first and only time to be elected. What an idiot.

  • Bev
    June 06, 2012 - 07:44

    As a constituent in St Johns North I am very disappointed in my MHA. Election time i thought he would a good representative...now i am embarreassed at the way he is behaving. You signed up for the job Dale...do it!

  • Wally
    June 06, 2012 - 07:43

    Come on Dale, b'y - you're grandstanding and you know it. The rules apply to you whether you meant to mislead or not. Now you sound even more rediculous than you already did, if that was even possible!

  • Walter
    June 06, 2012 - 07:29

    Grow up Dale Kirby!

    • Jack
      June 06, 2012 - 08:17

      Walter, Jerome Kennedy and Ross Wiseman, Newfoundland and Labrador's enemies of democracy and equality, are the ones whom should grow up, not Dale Kirby. Ross Wiseman is an enemy of democracy as he ejected Dale Kirby for no legitimate reason as parliamentary regulations state that an MHA can only be ejected for abusing another MHA, not for presenting petitions. Jerome Kennedy is also an enemy because he acts like a poor sport. Its times like these I'm glad I didn't vote for these political crybabies in the last election, and voted for the NDP.

  • Jack
    June 06, 2012 - 06:59

    If Jerome Kennedy is against petitions, he is against democracy, period. As for Ross Wiseman, how dare you eject a politician for no legitimate reason? If he bashed another politician, then you can eject them, but ejecting a politician for presenting a petition means that you're just as guilty as Jerome Kennedy. In the name of Newfoundland and Labrador, SHAME ON YOU. To ensure democratic rights are enforced in Newfoundland and Labrador, give Mr. Kennedy the boot and never set foot on our province again. As for Ross Wiseman, you should be ejected as well for conduct unbecoming of a true Newfoundlander and Labradorian. Down with Wiseman, down with Kennedy.

  • Jack
    June 06, 2012 - 06:55

    Is it just me, or is the Dunderdale Government starting to abuse their power as Dale Kirby was rejected from the house for no legitimate reason? Usually, an MHA can only be rejected for unparliamentary conduct such as bashing another MHA, but Dale Kirby did no such thing. Therefore, I believe that Ross Wiseman and Jerome Kennedy overstepped their bounds as they punished Dale Kirby for no legitimate reason as ejections can only be done for abusing another MHA, which he didn't do. As a result, its clear to me that Jerome Kennedy is a prejudiced individual as he shows a double standard against the NDP as its ok for him and the Dunderdale Government to lie, but not the NDP. Due to this discriminatory behaviour, perhaps now is the time for Ross Wiseman to be given a boot and replaced with a fair and impartial speaker. As for Jerome Kennedy, politicians have a right to submit petitions. If you're against it, then you're definitely a Fascist dictator and you should be removed from Newfoundland and Labrador for going against our values of a social liberal culture. EJECT KENNEDY, NOT KIRBY.

  • John Smith
    June 06, 2012 - 06:44

    Time to go back to your other part time cushy job now Dale...as you have failed miserably as a politician...you have embarrassed yourself, and the NDP party.

  • Turry from town
    June 06, 2012 - 06:38

    I find it hard to believe that a politition would ever tell a lie!