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Ethics complaint against Premier Dwight Ball dismissed

Premier Dwight Ball speaks to reporters Monday.
Premier Dwight Ball speaks to reporters Monday. - David Maher

PC Leader Ches Crosbie says commissioner ruled no jurisdiction to investigate

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie says his complaint to the commissioner for legislative standards against Premier Dwight Ball has been dismissed.

In January, Crosbie wrote a letter to Commissioner Bruce Chaulk alleging Ball had breached the MHA Code of Conduct by providing advice to former Liberal cabinet minister Eddie Joyce while an investigation into Joyce’s conduct was ongoing.

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie speaks to reporters Monday.
Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie speaks to reporters Monday.

Previously, Ball confirmed he had a number of conversations with Joyce and others involved in the investigations into allegations of bullying and harassment throughout 2018. Ultimately, Joyce and Mount Scio MHA Dale Kirby were found guilty of Code of Conduct violations

Crosbie says the complaint was dismissed last week – without making a public announcement himself prior to Monday.

“A lot of it had to do with much of what Mr. Joyce and Mr. Ball said was in the House of Assembly. The commissioner took the position that anything said in the House of Assembly was not a proper subject for any form of investigation,” said Crosbie, noting some of the comments were made in public, through media.

Crosbie says he was not surprised by the ruling, but he had a process to follow.

“I’m a guy who believes in procedure and in the rule of law.”

Joyce remains defiant

In the House of Assembly on Monday, Independent MHA Eddie Joyce stood to say the previous investigation into his conduct was mishandled by Chaulk’s office.

Standing on a point of privilege before regular proceedings began, Joyce reiterated concerns over the lack of an in-person interview during the investigative process that ultimately saw himself and Kirby reprimanded through an apology to the House of Assembly.

Joyce says comments from Chaulk stated Joyce was unavailable for an interview in relation to the allegations about his conduct, which Joyce says is false.

Joyce also stated Chaulk informed him that he could respond to questions related to the investigation in writing, which Joyce did at length through his lawyer.

Still, Joyce maintains he did not have fair access to justice because he was not interviewed in person.

A number of emails and correspondence were tabled by Joyce related to the investigation for public review.

Speaker Perry Trimper will rule on the point of privilege on Tuesday.

david.maher@thetelegram.com

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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