Bizarre episode in Newfoundland Legislature

James McLeod
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Motion fails, House adjourns, then motion is passed after formal recorded vote

New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael wanted Speaker Ross Wiseman to make some sense of Wednesday's House of Assembly  proceedings, after a bizarre episode in the legislature.

Ross Wiseman

In the House Wednesday, a private member's resolution was voted on, defeated, the House adjourned and then after some confusion, they voted again and the resolution passed.

At the end of the day Wednesday, following debate on Tory backbencher Clayton Forsey's motion on reaffirming the government policy on financial assistance for seniors, the government should have won the vote easily, but only two MHAs actually bothered to vote. When the two NDP MHAs voted against the motion, it presented a tie, and the motion was defeated.

The Speaker then adjourned the House.

Michael argued that things should have ended there. But for some reason, after the House had been adjourned, the Speaker recognized Government House Leader Darin King who called for a formal stand-and-be-counted re-vote.

It's tough to figure out what happened, exactly, because when the Speaker adjourned the House, the people managing the broadcast of the proceedings partially cut the feed, so the confusion wasn't recorded.

Eventually, the two NDP MHAs voted against the motion, but all the PCs, Liberals, and the two independent MHAs voted in favour and it passed.

King argued Thursday that there was some confusion, but he did nothing wrong, and he was within his rights to call for "division" and a formal recorded note.

Wiseman said he'd look over the tape and render a ruling later.



Organizations: Government House

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Jakesask
    March 11, 2014 - 01:55

    The article says the NDP voted against reaffirming the policy. That could mean they want something better than the current funding for seniors, not necessarily that they want to eliminate funding.

  • Tree Walsh
    November 29, 2013 - 17:19

    I was watching. The Speaker CLEARLY adjourned the house. These guys run the house like a circus!! They certainly destroy any semblance of decorum!!!

  • Cherie
    November 29, 2013 - 14:42

    I would like to know who the two idiot NDP MHAs voted against this. Tells you something about NDP if they voted against giving money to seniors. Amazing. Changed my mind about NDP in this province can tell you Man oh Man

  • Parsons
    November 28, 2013 - 15:53

    So, the NDP voted AGAINST money for seniors???? On what grounds, Ms. Michael?????? Now that is bizaare.

  • David Wilson
    November 28, 2013 - 14:42

    If you don't like the outcome, sure vote again bye'. Does anybody really care what this government does?

  • Mr. Speaker?
    November 28, 2013 - 14:35

    wasn't he there, why does Ross have to look over the tape.............are they all asleep?