Speaker apologizes to NDP MHA

James McLeod
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Wiseman admits he was wrong to hold Rogers in contempt of the legislature

Ross Wiseman. — Telegram file photo

Speaker Ross Wiseman apologized to New Democrat MHA Gerry Rogers and admitted he was wrong when he held her in contempt of the legislature last week.

The House of Assembly has been mired in controversy since last Tuesday, when Wiseman found Rogers in contempt in relation to her membership in a Facebook group.

Rogers was held in contempt last Tuesday and thrown out of the House after she refused to apologize for being one of 1,600 members of a “Dunderdale must GO!!!” Facebook group.

At least one user made violent comments in the group about Premier Kathy Dunderdale, musing about her potentially being assassinated.

Rogers was not given an opportunity to make her case in the House of Assembly, after Government House Leader Darin King raised the issue. But speaking to reporters, she said that she did not join the group, and was added by someone else she doesn't know.

Up until now, MHAs have been careful not to run afoul of Wiseman by questioning his ruling outright, but the Liberals, NDP and independent MHA Tom Osborne have all voiced concerns that the ruling could represent a dangerous precedent.

In a letter to the editor in the Telegram, the Centre for Law and Democracy raised serious concerns about the situation as well.

At its core, critics of the ruling say that by censuring Rogers for being a member of a Facebook group, it creates a situation where people can be found guilty by association.

Organizations: Government House

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Recent comments

  • Joe
    April 24, 2013 - 04:01

    Dunderdale/Wiseman/King and Kennedy should all resign on grounds they are consistently lying and misleading their employer......the people of Nl &Lab. I do believe this Kings third dept as minister and he making as much a mess of this one as he has of the other two. This man needs to mature before he ever deal with people especially unions,etc. As for Dunderdale the proof is in the pudding; we are to shut-up and not question her on anything as she knows all and we know nothing. Well Premier Dunderdale it will soon be former premier Dunderdale; how stupid where the people to vote you and your party in......BUT we have smartened up a lot., wait and see.

  • W Jesso
    April 24, 2013 - 03:58

    I agree that "Mr Wiseman" was wrong and needs to resign. All the other members of the house involved need to give a formal apology to Gerry Rogers as well. The actions of this government has shown the people how ignorant and arrogant they are and are not fit to run our government.

  • Joe
    April 23, 2013 - 22:35

    OK by's take it easy. You won't have to worry about them after the next election. They have done themselves in. I feel sorry for the good conservative MHAs who have been tarnished unjustly. Don't be hard on Darrin. He always has his facts straight-- remember the facts he gave concerning reasons for cuts in the Justice Department.(ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc) Seems like he got them right again re: Gerry Rodgers. Where did he get his PhD?

  • Bill
    April 23, 2013 - 21:22

    Wiseman is just a puppet of the Party. He ruled against Rogers as part of a shameful attempt to embarass the NDP and Rogers, and now he is taking orders to make an apology that neither King or Dunderdale or any of the other Tory MHA's Heap-Upons are willing to tackle. The arrogance of this Government is astounding. Let's hope everyone remembers this in 2015 when they come looking to get re-elected.

  • shorty
    April 23, 2013 - 20:16

    That's a step in the right direction, now how about Darin King apologizing for being so ignorant of social media to begin with. Sounds like another PC smear campaign. I voted for them in the last election - won't happen next time.

  • Cyril Rogers
    April 23, 2013 - 18:59

    So now that the Speaker has apologized for his egregious error, the next logical step is for him to demand that his PC cohorts, withdraw their statements made in the house. Minister King should not only apologize, but step down, for making an obvious blunder by trying to use the HOA as a sledge hammer to try and discredit Ms Rogers. This incident is a very strong indicator of the ineptitude and desperation of this administration and it just make me shudder to think that these Danny minions are still carrying out his whimsical fantasies.

  • W McLean
    April 23, 2013 - 17:32

    Your move, Darin King.

  • Calvin
    April 23, 2013 - 17:30

    Mr. Speaker. Mr Speaker should resign. A person in such a position of authority who makes a decision to punish a person by removing them from the House of Assembly, without the facts, without investigation and without due process only to be confronted a few days later with some facts that causes him to apologize, has brought the the administration of the House of Assembly into disrepute. An apology is not adequate.

  • darrell
    April 23, 2013 - 17:08

    My question...would Wiseman have apologized if Lee Pitts of CBC hadn't uncovered all the PC's members facebook blunders? I don't think so.

  • Bob
    April 23, 2013 - 16:04

    Well done, Mr. Wiseman. Politicans are human also, they make mistakes like the rest of us mortals. To bad the government doesn't apologize also, they need much some creditability considering the farce that went on last week

  • Mary
    April 23, 2013 - 15:35

    He apologized because he had to, to save face. NOW, he knows he should have thought before he acted, next time he'll know better.

  • Maggy Carter
    April 23, 2013 - 15:08

    What Wiseman needs to apologize for is not his ignorance of social media, but his readiness to act as a lapdog for the party in power. Rather than take his cues from Darrin King and the Premier, he might try brushing up on the role of the speaker in legislative assemblies - particularly as it relates to the onus on the speaker to function in an unbiased, non-partisan manner. No doubt Mr. Wiseman has heard from a great many scholars across the country who were shocked that he should make such a ruling in the absence of any evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing. WIseman did the right thing to apologize but I don't think there's any way of repairing the damage to his credibility as a speaker.

  • Kent
    April 23, 2013 - 14:45

    I'll give Wiseman his dues; at least had the gonads to apologize, which is more than I can say about the rest of them.

  • wanda white
    April 23, 2013 - 14:42

    You can apologize all you want Mr. Wiseman. Why then, did you NOT hold Mr. Kennedy in CONTEMPT when he referred to another member as a FOOL? Did you NOT read your duties and responsibilities before you sat in that seat, one of which is to be IMPARTIAL and to treat ALL before you the with respect to which they are due as members? Too little, too late. Have you NOT heard the outcry around the province? THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE!

  • Doug
    April 23, 2013 - 14:27

    Ross Wiseman could have delayed his decision and ruling until he knew enough about social media to make a qualified ruling. He screwed up badly and allowed his partisan led decision to embarrass his posting of Speaker of the House. He should tender his resignation immediately.

  • Bayman
    April 23, 2013 - 14:14

    Thank god this guy went to the Conservatives. Didn't take long to be like one.

  • dan
    April 23, 2013 - 14:14

    Ok Poll Lane and Boot Lick Kent where are your apologies?????

  • Ed
    April 23, 2013 - 14:11

    As well he should. These people were elected to run the province and they act like a bunch of children. The childish 'Darin King' should not have wasted the legislature's time by even bringing this up. The PC's are getting worse, I used to get irritated with the opposition for some of the foolishness they got on with but the government is now just as bad or worse. To think I voted for these childish idiots to govern our province. While I have little or no respect for Gerry Rogers, she is no more responsible for what someone posted on a facebook page that she was "friended on" than I am for what someone wrote and had published in a "letter to the editor" in the Telegram. They should all grow up. If this an example of the best we have to govern our province we are in a lot of trouble.

    • Hear Hear
      April 23, 2013 - 14:50

      Right on Ed; I wish Darnit King would make any kind of statement that makes sense and stop looking so confused all the time. Does he ever record and playback in private, what he says in those foolish news conferences he holds?

  • Ross Dumbman
    April 23, 2013 - 13:44

    I swear Wiseman must be a centipede? he must be, because he's after putting his foot in his mouth some often over the years.

  • Don
    April 23, 2013 - 13:09

    OK, enough of this crap, lets move on and get on with the governing of the province for which all of you were elected.

  • Sam
    April 23, 2013 - 12:59

    Ok...lets get on with it now! Enough of this grand standing by both parties!

  • Whaddaya At
    April 23, 2013 - 12:44

    Wiseman has apologized to Gerry Rogers for his mistake in throwing her out of the House and says he's since learned a lot about social media. That's nice because many geezers like Wiseman probably think a Blackberry is something you put Dream Whip on, an Ipad is a launching pad for a rocket and Facebook is a book containing a lot of faces. lol.

  • Jeff
    April 23, 2013 - 12:39

    Too little too late. Had there not been an outcry it would have been business as usual. Also where are the Tory lap-dog apologists who spent the last week bleatingly called on Rogers to apologize and disassociate from the group? Oh, that's right, Confederation Building.

  • wavy
    April 23, 2013 - 12:28

    It was the right thing to do and I respect both the apology and him for it. I hope Speaker Wiseman has learned something from this experience and will think twice before pulling the proverbial trigger so quickly next time something like this happens in the house.