MHAs trade personal shots in House

James McLeod
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The House of Assembly at Confederation Building in St. John's. — File photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Opposition House Leader Andrew Parsons sparked a tense exchange with Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy on the floor of the House of Assembly Thursday, when Parsons wanted to know about the fallout from government cuts to the Justice Department.

The nasty, personal shots back and forth on the final sitting day of the House were sparked when Parsons asked about lawyers leaving the province.

"We have just learned that an experienced Crown prosecutor has resigned in this province and accepted a job in Alberta. He said due to the cuts from Budget 2013, he has no confidence in the attorney general, no confidence in the minister of Justice or the premier to make even the most basic of decisions," Parsons said. "So I ask the minister: do you now understand the full effect of your harmful cuts to our justice system?"

Attorney General Tom Marshall assured Parsons that, "I have full confidence in the prosecution service in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and so can the people of this province."

Parsons shot back that it's just not true.

"The attorney general may have confidence, but the people in the system do not," Parsons said.

"Justice officials in Alberta have said that they are getting a lot of calls from lawyers in our province since this government imposed cuts on our system. We have been told that the cuts from Budget 2013 expose every front-line Crown prosecutor in our province to an increased likelihood of an avoidable error and professional liability."

This seemed to set Kennedy off. He started shouting across the House at Parsons, saying that the accusations were "crap."

Both Kennedy and Parsons are lawyers; Parsons is much younger than Kennedy.

"You couldn't make it as a lawyer," Kennedy shouted to Parsons.

"You're a hack," Parsons replied.

Later on, Kennedy said, "Have you ever been in a courtroom, Andrew? Have you ever been in a courtroom?"

At one point, Parsons took a shot at Kennedy's failed attempt to get elected in the 2006 byelection in the district of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi.

"I got in the first time," Parsons taunted. Twitter: TelegramJames


This is a corrected version.

Organizations: Justice Department

Geographic location: Alberta, Government House, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Too Funny
    May 18, 2013 - 15:12

    "I got in the first time" with a lot help from Daddy.

  • Joannie
    May 17, 2013 - 21:57

    People - don't be fooled by the raucous . What better way to avoid having to answer the tough questions than to resort to put-downs and name calling? Come on, you've seen your four-year-old do it all the time. And this is not new behaviour for Mr. Kennedy who has perfected this skill in the province's courtrooms prior to this HofA venue. Did anybody try to slam the other with the term ayatollah?

  • wondering why
    May 17, 2013 - 19:40

    AI fear that amongst all of this foolishness the real message is being lost. Our crown attorneys and legal aid lawyers are leaving....why? Its time for the AG to step up and identify the issues. The minister of justice is a non-factor...everytine he opens his mouth all voters cringe...even tories.

  • RANDY from the ROCK
    May 17, 2013 - 19:04

    Bulling starts at home, way to go boys. Great roll models.

  • Dianne
    May 17, 2013 - 17:51

    Mr Parsons...The only reason you were elect the first time...Because of your father...Everyone in his DISTRICT thought he done something for the people...But he never...No more then whats your going to do...Get elects a fews time ... Then draw a PENSION on the backs of the taxpayers...

  • Eli
    May 17, 2013 - 17:30

    Kennedy is a cooked goose in any NL courftroom after Judge Hughes took him to task. He exposed Kennedy for the coward he is. After politica his best bet would be the motorcycle cirtuit.

  • Rick
    May 17, 2013 - 16:37

    Parsons got in the first time cause Daddy kept the seat warm for him. What a bunch of immature, embarrassing jokers.

  • wayne badcock
    May 17, 2013 - 13:35

    typical stupid nl politics - oh,where was the caring speaker with this awful use of such wonderful vocab - I guess he thought his buddy was doing ok. Wonderful display for our youth to see and hear - let's call it a new type of politics - probably Duffying

  • DON II
    May 17, 2013 - 13:02

    These members are lawyers? This is a good example of what Newfoundland politics is all about. Every few years the political parties change places running the Government so they can get on with their decades long blood feud and with abusing the powers of the State to pass laws to enable them to carry out revenge and retribution against their political rivals and members of the public that they don't like personally for reasons real or imagined. The lack of decorum and professional deportment by some of the members in the House of Assembly is a a national disgrace that needs to be corrected and soon. What kind of vindictive behavior and vitriolic verbosity is conducted behind closed doors by some of the people in political power in Newfoundland and Labrador? This vindictive arrogance and "off with his head" mentality is very concerning and may be rooted in the culture and the deficient upbringing of some of these people. The media and the public should be very concerned by this level of this vindictive and unprofessional behavior by people with the power of the State at their command!

  • doug
    May 17, 2013 - 12:24

    This is what happens when you are on a sinking ship!

  • Randy
    May 17, 2013 - 12:08

    Good for the Telegram to finally acknowledge the Liberals are not choir boys. Yvonne Jones was worse than Kennedy but all bow-tie boy ever shines a light on is the PCs and the NDP. Time for a complete picture

  • Robert W. Tucker
    May 17, 2013 - 11:54

    Why didn't the speaker stop this nonsense? What ever happened to Jerome? He seems to be losing it?

  • sc
    May 17, 2013 - 11:37

    So this is the sort of childish behaviour we, as taxpayers and voters get from our elected (and paid) officials. I suspect we'd hear more intellectual 'debates' going on in a kindergarden playground. Maybe these politicians should spend less time on their childish antics and more time doing the jobs for which they're getting paid.

  • are they for real
    May 17, 2013 - 11:33

    good to see our elected members calling each other childish schoolyard bully names instead of working to improve the sorry state of our province and people.what an example they set!