Brazil not in contempt of the House, Speaker rules

James McLeod
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PC MHA David Brazil was forced to apologize in the House of Assembly. But he said apart from an “oversight,” he’d done nothing wrong.

Speaker Ross Wiseman rapped Tory MHA David Brazil on the knuckles, but didn't hold him in contempt of the House.

Brazil was in hot water this week after he was forced to apologize in the House of Assembly, but then seemingly took it back an hour later when he went outside to talk to reporters.

Last fall, The Telegram first reported on questionable spending of government funds for an adult basic education program on Bell Island.

Money from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills was going to the Bell Island hockey team — which Brazil was involved in running — and from there was being used for the education program.

Emails provided to The Telegram showed Brazil agreeing to pay a person with a dozen beer to install basic software on school computers.

Then-minister Joan Shea investigated the situation and referred the matter to the police, but after several months of looking at it, the RNC determined nothing criminal went on.

The commissioner for legislative standards investigated and found that Brazil broke the MHAs’ code of conduct by failing to disclose his involvement with the Bell Island hockey team in his conflict of interest public disclosure form.

Last week, Brazil apologized for his oversight, but afterwards, he told reporters the apology was only to the legislature -- not to the people of the province.

“I find it hard to apologize for being active, doing nothing wrong,” he said.

Wiseman considered the issue, after Liberal House Leader Andrew Parsons argued that it was a possible contempt of the House.

Wiseman said that the comments were "irresponsible" and "impertinent" but were not full blown contempt.

Organizations: The Telegram, Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Liberal House

Geographic location: Brazil, Bell Island

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Recent comments

  • Dolf
    November 14, 2013 - 21:22

    Seriously, did anybody expect anything different from Wiseman? The guy is a bigger flunky than his predessor.

  • kb
    November 14, 2013 - 18:27

    i'm pretty sure the team supplied the beer, not the government, I think the team was sponsored by a beer company and actually saved the government money

  • He shoots! He scores!
    November 14, 2013 - 13:44

    Was the dozen beer that was used to pay for the software services bought using money from the ABE budget? If so, why was the team using the ABE money to buy beer? I don't imagine the team was paying for ABE services using beer that was bought with money from their own pockets. A cold one after the game by's ? It's on the government!