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.