Tory MHA David Brazil has apologized to the House of Assembly twice in two weeks, but he may be held in contempt by Speaker Ross Wiseman all the same.
The Brazil saga was supposed to be over last Thursday, after a year of nagging controversy and a police investigation, when he apologized for mistakes made in the House of Assembly.
But then, the same afternoon, he emerged to tell reporters he was only apologizing to the legislature, but not to the people of the province, and he was only apologizing for an oversight, not for deliberately breaking the rules.
“I find it hard to apologize for being active, doing nothing wrong,” he said.
On Tuesday, after a long weekend to go over the transcripts, Liberal House Leader Andrew Parsons kicked off the day’s proceedings by accusing Brazil of treating the legislature with contempt.
“To follow that apology in this House, the people’s House, with comments made to the public at large via broadcast media saying you are not sorry and you did nothing wrong would seem to indicate that the apology was fake and disingenuous and, therefore, contempt of this House,” Parsons said.
Government Deputy House Leader Joan Shea had the chance to stick up for Brazil, but she didn’t make any comment on the matter.
Speaker Ross Wiseman recessed the House, and then came back to say that he’ll have to mull things over and look at the transcripts before he makes a ruling.
“It is a significant issue that has been raised. As I have said earlier, points of privilege are taken very seriously by the House,” Wiseman said.
Just after Wiseman finished talking, Brazil was on his feet again, saying, “Mr. Speaker, I apologize to this House, unequivocally.”
But that won’t necessarily get him out of hot water this time. If he’s acted in contempt of the House, the pre-emptive apology wouldn't necessarily negate that.
“I acknowledge the member’s comment; however, it does not dispose of the point of privilege being raised,” Wiseman said. “As I said earlier, I will take it under advisement, consider the issues referred, and look at the transcript of the interview that was with one of the media outlets, and report back to the House at a later date.”