UPDATE: MHA Gerry Rogers escorted from House of Assembly after refusing to apologize

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Accused of being part of anti-government Facebook group that included threats to Premier Kathy Dunderdale

Gerry Rogers. — Telegram file photo

New Democrat MHA Gerry Rogers was thrown out of the House of Assembly and held in contempt of parliament today for being associated with a Facebook group.

The Facebook group in question was an anti-government group, and several comments on the page involved death threats against Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

The brouhaha lasted most of the afternoon, with Speaker Ross Wiseman considering the issues before he ruled that Rogers was in contempt of the House.

When Wiseman said MHAs need to be careful about their actions online, and who they're seen to be associating with, he said Rogers should apologize for being a part of the "Dunderdale must GO!!!" group.

Rogers refused.

"I cannot apologize for something I did not do," she said.

Rogers told reporters outside the House that since she was brought into the group without her knowledge by somebody else on Facebook, she would not apologize.

The implications of her getting thrown out of the House are unclear. She said she would return to her seat Wednesday, but it is not clear whether there will be any long-term consequences of her refusal.

One poster on the Facebook group mused about Dunderdale being shot, and another image posted online called her a terrorist.

Dunderdale told reporters that she won't be bullied, but the negative public reaction to the March 26 budget has been staggering. She said on at least two occasions, she's been verbally accosted in public by public service employees.

•••

Speaker of the House of Assembly Ross Wiseman says there's no way to know how NDP MHA Gerry Rogers came to be a member of the Facebook group referred to earlier by Justice Minister Darin King.

Wiseman says he will give Rogers the "benefit of the doubt."

Wiseman, however, did hold Rogers in contempt and asked her to apologize.

Rogers refused and was escorted from the House of Assembly by the Sergeant at Arms.

•••

Proceedings in the House of Assembly in St. John’s went off the rails right away today with Government House Leader Darin King accusing NDP MHA Gerry Rogers of endorsing death threats on Facebook.

King is asking the Speaker to throw Rogers out of the House for being a member of a Facebook group that's been the centre of anti-government sentiment in the past week or so.

King said some of the comments by members of the Facebook group, which have since been deleted, include direct death threats against Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

A Facebook group entitled "Kathy Dunderdale must GO!!!" has around 1,600 members, including Rogers.

The House of Assembly is currently in recess.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said this was the first she has heard about it and asked for a few moments to look into the matter and prepare a response.

Speaker Ross Wiseman has said he plans on dealing with the situation before routine proceedings start back up in the House.

King said this may be a matter for the police to be involved with, as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Government House, Rogers.The House of Assembly

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Recent comments

  • mic
    April 23, 2013 - 13:42

    Well I think everyone in government should be reprimanded for having a membership to Facebook, it has racist, sexist and other despicable things all over it and every member with an account should be held accountable for associating with this kind of crude internet product. Surely we can hold our our members to the higher standard of controlling everything other people say in open forums. Any public discourse must be equated to its lowest most ignorant participants views otherwise how will we progress to a more socially enlightened perspective.

  • RALPH
    April 17, 2013 - 15:20

    THIS GOVERMENT UNDER DUNDERDALE, NO ONE SEEM'S TO KNOW THE RULE'S OF THE HOUSE, IDOITS.

    • Barry
      April 18, 2013 - 16:32

      You don't seem to know the rules of grammar, idiot.

  • Max
    April 17, 2013 - 08:32

    Mrs. Dunderdale and her government have amply demonstrated their incompetence, and do not deserve to govern this Province. This is a tempest in a Teapot manufactured by the PC's to try to deflect the criticism they have been receiving following their recent ill considered Budget cuts. The PCs have not demonstrated the intelligence necessary to govern. One is left to wonder whether this morning's major Power outage, is another sick attempt to reinforce their position on Muskrat Falls, A development which I as a Senior on pension income can not support. I must admit that the prospect of getting away from dominance by Quebec is appealing, but not at any price.The prospect of seriously escalating energy cost may be acceptable to highly paid Civil Servants, but is certainly not to Seniors on a fixed Pension Income. I have voted PC in the past, but will certainly not be voting PC again, while this mindset by the PCs continues. The quicker this crowd can be removed from Power, the better for this Province.

    • Buhda Kahn
      April 17, 2013 - 15:11

      People can be added to a group on Facebook with-out their knowledge. If this kind of mistake is being made by not getting all the facts then what other mistakes are being made.

  • Jackie Barrett
    April 17, 2013 - 08:09

    In light of this compassionate woman accused and found guilty of something she shouldn't do, every single MHA should be given both Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, especially Section 2(d) stating "Freedom of Association", and social media training for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. That way, Gerry Rogers will not be punished ever again due to a group member acting immaturely.

  • blueberry
    April 17, 2013 - 05:03

    childish conservatives!!!!!!!!! trying to take away from the real issues as usual!

  • Not me..
    April 17, 2013 - 04:42

    Oh so that is why you can't get through to Government offices,they are all on Facebook.Voted P.C. But not next time.

  • Terry MacEachern
    April 17, 2013 - 02:02

    Gerry Rogers was a the winner of the 2011 MOM Fest award presented by the Mayor of St.Johns for helping cancer patience's and saving peoples lives. I've personally seen her sit with people in the community to talk about bullying and equal rights for man and woman more then once. She is one of the nicest, kindest and most incredible person I have meet in my life and know she would have no part in any bullying or threats. Even though, like so many people right now she probably feels Premier Kathy Dunderdale and the PCs government should be put out of office. On another note, even if she was part of a facebook group she is not an admin and its NOT her group. She was right for not saying sorry for someone else post. It has nothing to do with her and the PC government would do anything to take everyone's eyes off how they are taking from the province.

  • Amazed
    April 16, 2013 - 23:39

    So Wiseman has no way of knowing how she came to be a member and will give her the "benefit of the doubt". However she is in contempt so he kicks her out? Could somebody explain the logic of this??????? This looks like something a dictator would do. Childish, very childish. I guess the next thing is Wiseman will take his ball and go home. Will this comment get me in trouble? Am I allowed to say anything against this govt????

  • Danny
    April 16, 2013 - 23:22

    What a sad state Cathy has put herself in...boo hoo tryin to deflect her poor management of her party and sinking Nfld beyond repair.... She must step down!!!

  • Joannie
    April 16, 2013 - 23:10

    Can Darin King and Kathy Dunderdale be any more pathetic? Maybe the opposition MHA's can spend the day on Facebook to see what they can find written (supposedly) by Kennedy, Shea, Dunderdale, etc. Apparently the PC's assume this a good use of tax dollar. Have some integrity PC boys and see this for what it is.

  • Mike
    April 16, 2013 - 23:04

    Darin, Please grow up.

  • Megan
    April 16, 2013 - 22:53

    "Speaker of the House of Assembly Ross Wiseman says there's no way to know how NDP MHA Gerry Rogers came to be a member of the Facebook group referred to earlier by Justice Minister Darin King." This is false. "Kathy Dunderdale Must GO!!!" is a closed group. When I click on the members, it allows me to see who from my friends list has been added to the group (without consent of the person being added) and it also shows the name of the person who invited him/her. Gerry Rogers is on my Friends List. It says she was added.

  • t
    April 16, 2013 - 22:43

    Ms. Rogers is owed a huge apology. Good on you for not apologizing!

  • Kev
    April 16, 2013 - 22:24

    PC's you keep on digging that hole. Good bye and good riddance.

  • sc
    April 16, 2013 - 22:19

    I wonder how far this government will go to prohibit any criticism of it whatsoever. Perhaps all those who belong to the Facebook group will receive visits from the police and escorted out of the province. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures and as 'Philly' wrote, this government is 'beyond desperate'.

  • EDfromRED
    April 16, 2013 - 21:14

    Why do the PC MHA's sound and act like five year olds? To qualify for membership in the provincial PC's you must have to have a lobotomy and get your common sense removed. You would not see such blatantly stupid theatrics tolerated in an elementary school. These fools are our leaders!? God help us all!

  • kate
    April 16, 2013 - 21:07

    This is ridiculous. I am a member of the Facebook group "Kathy Dunderdale must GO!" and the purpose of the group is to raise awareness of budget cuts that Dunderdale has made, and how they are affecting us. If you read recent posts on the group you will see that the 1600+ members of the group DO NOT condone violence against anyone! We should not be held accountable because of one comment. Imagine if all Christians were held accountable for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • Holy Smokes
    April 16, 2013 - 20:41

    So much for the Charter.....I recall a particular Danny Williams saying about an incident at Eastern Health.....quote 'They should all be shot over there'.....interesting how it goes only one way...their way!! Wonder if there's a legal recourse.....Course...Rossie only does what he's told..He's not smart enough to make an 'educated' call on anything!

  • Jay
    April 16, 2013 - 20:38

    Our government is beyond desperate. Dunderdale should fire Darin King and Ross Wiseman then resign. This piece of work she refers to would over and finished.

  • Dawn
    April 16, 2013 - 20:25

    I have been rolling on the floor laughing since hearing this. For Pete;s sake grow up Minister King and show some maturity...how foolish. You and your party are just scared because the NDP are going to form the next gov. Anyone can be added to a Facebook group. And tell the Premier to dry up those fake crocodile tears she was squeezing out today... bunch of sooks

  • Jackie Barrett
    April 16, 2013 - 20:08

    I mad an error on my first sentence. It should state in the end "accusing someone of something he/she didn't do.

  • Jackie Barrett
    April 16, 2013 - 20:03

    If the NDP wants to stand up for Gerry Rogers, I think that tomorrow, every NDP MHA should be absent from tomorrows legislative session in solidarity to this compassionate woman and as an act of protest for accusing someone of something he/she do. That way, Kathy Dunderdale, Ross Wiseman, and Darin King will learn the lesson of "judge not lest not ye be judged".

    • dee
      April 17, 2013 - 06:23

      This woman was UNWILLINGLY added to a group without her consent and by someone she DOES NOT KNOW. Who's to say someone in the PC party didn't set her up-just saying. Really...do we want our MHA's on facebook all of the time rather than trying to help our districts. Also keep in mind that the oppositions job is to bring up points about other parties that they disagree with-which IS in fact what the group was originally set up to do. One person happened to make it bad for everyone that joined that group- and all of these people are not responsible. The leader in the house and the Premier should apologize to Gerry Rogers!!!!!!!

  • Jackie Barrett
    April 16, 2013 - 20:00

    Throwing Gerry Rogers for something she didn't do and for being part of a Facebook Group? Seems to me that Kathy Dunderdale truly is now a dictator as we now have no rights to have friends or be in a group. As for Ross "The Denier of Human Rights" Wiseman, he is just as guilty for accusing somebody of something he/she didn't do. What's Wiseman going to do next? Make friendship and membership illegal? Time for the Lieutenant Governor to impeach Darin King, Ross Wiseman, and Kathy Dunderdale for infringing on human rights, including rights to association without punishment just because someone in the group makes a threat. In addition, time to throw these bullies out of Newfoundland and Labrador, and ban them from ever setting foot on this soil again for criminalizing friends.

  • daskipper
    April 16, 2013 - 19:47

    just another example of the poisionous down side of face book and what it can bring upon others. A fun thing for some... a un happy thing for others. Benifit of doubt for her.. magine..give her a chance to clear her self. I would like to believe back home.. we are still nfld'rs not big city let's believe everything on face book monkey's. especially when it comes to gov't. Grow up bye's your making a tuff fair we will stand proud on our own province look no better then then the rat race polotics of the rest of the world.

  • Sam
    April 16, 2013 - 19:45

    My concern here is that Rogers didn't leave the site after threats were made against the Premier from someone on the site. She obviously agrees with the views on the site. Looks like political posturing by Ms Rogers! This is all kind of scary to me. This is not something to fool around with. There are a lot of crazy people in the world these days.

  • Dave Moore
    April 16, 2013 - 19:36

    Under the protection of the provincial legislature, the Minister of Justice has slandered the reputation of Gerry Rogers based on the opinion of different person. He has made the case that all members of that Facebook group are also guilty by association. Apparently the group is called "Dunderdale Must Go", but it could just as easily be comments made on a group called " We Love Newfoundland & Labrador" or "Brown is the best color!". The comments made, as far as I can tell, are not in line with the stated message of the group, nor every single person added to this group. The accusations are protected by privilege, but were broadcast across the province and likely the entire country by now. They show an ignorance of the facts and a willingness to persecute many, rather than prosecute the one who made the statement. That is plainly insincere.

  • MC Neil Conway, Esquire
    April 16, 2013 - 18:54

    I already knew this government was incompetent but really? WHAAAT? They need to re-brand the PCs: pathetic conservatives. This makes me angry. They are wasting our taxes and time as well as making a mockery of our House of Assembly. King is either really out of touch with reality or desperate for some drama -probably both. Drama King.

  • ALBUR
    April 16, 2013 - 18:46

    Con-servatives... Nothing but a bunch of rats out to bully everybody around them, the sack of losers!

  • Don
    April 16, 2013 - 18:34

    Lowest popular premier in Canada, third place in the polls......lead to desparate measures by the PC's. Shame on you King and company.

  • Bill Smith
    April 16, 2013 - 18:06

    Some facts here Any person can be added to any facebook group without their consent Gerry Rogers advised that she did not consent to be added to this group She did not make any posts to this group On the other hand: The Government made deliberate efforts to manipulate online polls that are supposed to represent public opinion The PC Government strongly encouraged puclic servant to tow the line and do the same The sentiments of the Facebook group were over the top but the message is clear. This PC government is ruinous. We have only uncovered a small bit of what they have messed up so far. After 50 years of waiting to undo the mess of Churchill Falls our children will now have to wait another 50 to undo the mess this group is creating. What will they think of us for letting this happen - again. God guard the Newfoundland!

  • Anonymous
    April 16, 2013 - 17:49

    I wonder what the outside world thinks? Looks like mob rule from here. Kathy Dunderdale isn't a terrorist. She's an "errorist". Why do we not have a lawyer for a justice minister? Is there not a plethora of them elected?

  • Mel
    April 16, 2013 - 17:41

    Our democracy has sunk to a new low. Hasn't Speaker Ross Wiseman ever heard that people are innocent until proven guilty? I don't know if MHA Gerry Rogers joined the Facebook group or if someone else added her, but Minister King and Speaker Wiseman need to apolagize to MHA Gerry Ford. If concusive information comes out, the situation may or may not change.

  • Gordon Gekko
    April 16, 2013 - 17:34

    Rogers is exacerbating this issue, she should have at least apologized for her lack of judgement. If she didn't know she was a member of that group she certainly should have. She's a politician now, and when you're in this game you always need to be very careful about who you are associated with. She should take the high road. Apologize for ending up on that group, however it happened, and then we can move on to serious business before this turns into more of a circus than it already has.

  • never again
    April 16, 2013 - 16:51

    I can't believe that I am guilty of voting this government in to power.To date Dunderdale makes all leaders look like saints. I have campaigned PC for many years and have a great deal of respect for my MHA. I knocked on doors with and without him for the last two elections in order to help with him being elected and reelected. Even though I see this man as a friend I will note vote or campaign for him next election if he is in any way connected to Dunderdale or thisPC government. ABC campaign is on

  • Ben
    April 16, 2013 - 16:44

    Darin King once again proves that he is a knob !!!!

  • Ludi Chris
    April 16, 2013 - 16:42

    With everything going on in this province, I am amazed this is the only thing that King, Dunderdale and others can raise in the HOA. This is ridiculous and indicative of the sense of desperation being felt across the party. I was hoping the PCs would bounce back from the polls (they don't follow but have many MHAs following), but after this desperate move I am soooo done with this party. It is time for Liberals and NDPs to identify a real leader and take back this province. Former conservative

  • Gern
    April 16, 2013 - 16:42

    This is ridiculous. Gerry Rogers can't be held responsible for something someone else says on the internet. She didn't say it. The local Cons like their evil twins in Ottawa are just trying to stifle debate.

  • Me
    April 16, 2013 - 16:41

    This is not a government, this is more like a daycare..... childish bunch of youngsters, and the one at the top i the worst!

  • DISGUSTED
    April 16, 2013 - 16:27

    One of the most peaceful, non-aggressive, positive people in government being accused of condoning death threats...because someone else posted something on FACEBOOK? SERIOUSLY Darin King? It's social media Darin...you know, on that new fangled world wide intraweb thingy that everyone is talking about?....FFS...I'm sure lots of government people have "liked" the CBC and other social media sites where crackpots post all kinds of stupid things. So now we are all responsible for what the rest of the world posts on the sites that we like or that we visit? Seriously???? So do we get to hunt through ALL of the sites that ALL of our government leaders have liked or Facebook pages they have joined to see what activity they are condoning? I wonder if there is anyone jokingly saying they'd like to kill someone or knock someone's block off on any of those hockey team fan pages I'm sure that half of our MHAs belong to?

  • Bill Smith
    April 16, 2013 - 16:23

    Some facts here Any person can be added to any facebook group without their consent Gerry Rogers advised that she did not consent to be added to this group She did not make any posts to this group On the other hand: The Government made deliberate efforts to manipulate online polls that are supposed to represent public opinion The PC Government strongly encouraged puclic servant to tow the line and do the same The sentiments of the Facebook group were over the top but the message is clear. This PC government is ruinous. We have only uncovered a small bit of what they have messed up so far. After 50 years of waiting to undo the mess of Churchill Falls our children will now have to wait another 50 to undo the mess this group is creating. What will they think of us for letting this happen - again. God guard the Newfoundland!

  • lulu
    April 16, 2013 - 15:55

    seriously.. anyone can go in the group and see who added who to the page.. in the case of Gerry Rogers -Added by Christine Kirby on Thursday duh!

  • coco
    April 16, 2013 - 15:46

    Who writes the premier's material? I think the way the House acts is amateurish and I know it's bullish and bullies ARE wimps. Their antics are a pure fabrication of the facts and they should apologize to Minister Rogers and explain their antics to the general public forthwith.

  • Frank Hawkins
    April 16, 2013 - 15:26

    Some public statements should not be dignified by a response. Nevertheless, some things are hard to resist. On a personal note, I have known Jerry Rogers for many years. She is not a close friend. However, she impresses me as a person of compassion and personal integrity. To suggest that she would endorse acts of violence is ludicrous. Mr. King is obviously bored and has lots of spare time on his hands. It is unfortunate that the citizens who elected him to office are not benefitting from his rich imagination and proclivity for high drama.

  • sc
    April 16, 2013 - 15:20

    Isn't it nice to see our government involved in conducting serious business. How much are these folks getting paid to complain about what Facebook group someone belongs to? Is there nothing else for King and this government to worry about? Apparently he doesn't quite understand how these groups work and doesn't realise that one person cannot control the thoughts and posts of others. Presumably he's annoyed that someone has the audacity to complain about the government. However, last time I looked, this isn't yet a dictatorship and people can express views that the government might not like. Apparently the whole concept of freedom (of speech, association etc) is rather foreign to our government or at least certain members of it. And to think that our taxes are paying the salaries of these people.

  • Tom
    April 16, 2013 - 15:10

    I guess Darin King hasn't used the internet before. Blaming a Gerry for what some random person said in a facebook group is like blaming me for Rob Ford because we are both fans of the Leafs. It makes absolutely no sense.

  • Jodi Greenleaves
    April 16, 2013 - 15:02

    In case Mr. King wasn't aware, and in case anyone else isn't aware, people can be added to a group on Facebook without consent. Gerry Rogers may not even be aware that she was added to the group. That being said, if Gerry Rogers is a member of the group, and well aware of it, I applaud her for taking a stand against this corrupt government that insists on making a complete mess of this provinces finances, among other things. I do not condone death threats on any individual, and as a member of the particular facebook group in question, I wasn't even aware of these death threats. I am sure that Mr. King and his cronies may not realise that they are making a mountain out of a mole hill and drawing more attention to the threats by making a news story out of it. In my opinion, taxpayers money shouldn't be wasted by paying someone to search facebook for garbage like that!

  • RLW
    April 16, 2013 - 14:44

    No, not Gerry Rogers? you must have this wrong!

  • Harvey
    April 16, 2013 - 14:27

    A gov't mired in desperation! This gov't should go! The decisions of this group are nothing short of ludicrous.

  • DWB
    April 16, 2013 - 14:25

    Typical Darin King....running off at the mouth at the first sign of foolishness. Stop sookin Darin! You sound idiotic!

  • Desparate times call for desparate measures
    April 16, 2013 - 14:24

    Seriously?? The PC Gov't has nothing better to do???? 75% of the people of the province want Kathy gone. It's NOT news! Please, please, please find a useful way to waste the hours you are paid to work... maybe try doing something productive for the people of the province???? Maybe???? Pathetic!

  • laughing
    April 16, 2013 - 14:18

    Are you serious? How is she responsible for other peoples posts? Anybody can easily join this group, and they can post whatever they want. I'm also in the group, and I don't agree with everything said but I have no control over that. You're all wasting time. Put your efforts into something more useful for once.

  • Fred Penner
    April 16, 2013 - 14:16

    Sure is lonely at the top.

  • wavy
    April 16, 2013 - 14:15

    Minister King, thank you for taking time away from your busy online-poll voting activities to let me and others know about, as well as advertise and draw attention to, the Facebook group "Kathy Dunderdale must GO!!!". Minister King, I had no knowledge of this group until you mentioned it. Thanks again for the introduction and information. I'll be sure to return the favour and help spread the word. You're welcome, in advance.

  • chrisblue
    April 16, 2013 - 14:11

    It sounds like someone clicked before they read

  • Doug
    April 16, 2013 - 13:59

    Darin, you should be kicked out of the HOA for bungling the Dept. of Justice cuts...no reversals...no cuts...not sure! Maybe you can impose Bill 29 or 39 or whatever they call it to impose your government's will on Facebook. Trying to deflect that 80% of the province wants to boot you out are we!!!

  • shannie
    April 16, 2013 - 13:46

    Shame on the NDP Peace Love Kindness Can't find a constructive way of fixing things, so you sling nasty words. Shame shame shame

  • Political Watcher
    April 16, 2013 - 13:43

    Using King's logic all people who liked or friended the site should be turfed out of the Province. Besides, why is King being the "kisser upper", Kent's lips too tired?

  • Tom Canyon
    April 16, 2013 - 13:41

    A member of the opposition being a member of a group that opposes the government? Inconceivable! B'ys are grabbing at straws to put up a flimsy smokescreen for real issues.

  • Robert Miller
    April 16, 2013 - 13:37

    King is hopelessly misguided on this accusation. Individual comments are not moderated. Likewise, individual members are not responsible for--nor do they automatically endorse--another person's comments. 1600 members today, check tomorrow.

  • Mary Barter
    April 16, 2013 - 13:37

    OMG talk about drama! Minister King, you apparently have no other recouse than to nit pick. It's so obviously a stretch....used by those who have done wrong. And you're bullying government has done wrong by the people. This is just one more example of bullying.....

  • Brian
    April 16, 2013 - 13:17

    The Police shouild be involved in important issues and their time would be wasted . Maybe the police should have looked into things like---a former premier suggesting that a former mayor of St.John's" needed a good SH1+ knocking" . Get over it Monsieur King .Deal with the important issues .

  • JT
    April 16, 2013 - 13:15

    Darin , what were ya doin'? Using company time to search Facebook & try to help Kathy figure out why the Province wants her and your party out of office? Gerry's part of a group, that like most in the Province want Kathy out of office. She can't be held responsible for every person who makes a comment that's up to the administrator. How bout' you start using taxpayers money & time for more productive things. BTW the headline of this article should be "King says MHA should be turfed from House of Assembly for being part of anti-Dunderdale Facebook group" as the group is called "Kathy Dunderdale must GO!!!" just sayin'.

  • philly
    April 16, 2013 - 13:07

    Our government is beyond desperate.

  • amused
    April 16, 2013 - 12:56

    LOL, is it possible to be guilty of this? So many questions. How about if she was a member before the death threats, she can't control what others say. Did she "like" those idiotic posts? No, not guilty. Stupidity. Are we really allowing MHAs, who make way more than they deserve, to waste public money to review this silliness. King, you are a piece of work b'y.