Kent kicked out of the House


Published on May 17, 2017

Tory MHA Steve Kent

©

Tory MHA Steve Kent was ejected from the House of Assembly Wednesday morning, after he refused to apologize for saying Finance Minister Cathy Bennett was misleading the legislature on Tuesday.

“I don’t have anything to apologize for. In fact, the only one who should be apologizing for anything is Cathy Bennett for being dishonest,” Kent told The Telegram.

Kent also said the Liberal MHAs routinely get away with worse than anything he did, and don’t get rapped on the knuckles by the Speaker.

The episode started Tuesday afternoon when Kent was asking Bennett questions about the budget during a portion of debate called “estimates committee.”

Kent said the lieutenant-governor’s private secretary at Government House has been laid off by the Liberal government, and he suggested it’s no coincidence the person who was doing that job is a longtime Tory.

Kent said he asked Bennett how much the person was paid in severance and other payments when their job was cut, and he was told the number was $111,000.

When he pressed the point, though, asking for the total number, including unused vacation pay, sick leave and salary continuance, Bennett later said the total cost was $378,000.

“She was trying to be cute by not telling me the full cost of the political decision that was made to terminate the previous private secretary to the lieutenant-governor,” Kent said.

“I said that her behaviour is dishonest.”

Under standard parliamentary rules, members are not allowed to accuse another politician of lying in the legislature — it’s deemed to be “unparliamentary.”

Lisa Dempster, who was serving as deputy chair of committees at the time, took a day to issue a ruling on the matter, but on Wednesday morning she asked Kent to apologize and withdraw his comment.

Kent refused to do so, and he was kicked out of the legislature.

Kent says he expects to resume his normal spot in the legislature as soon as Thursday; getting kicked out is generally a one-day affair.

Speaker Tom Osborne also weighed in on the situation Wednesday afternoon, saying decorum in the legislature has improved overall — “except for yesterday.”

Osborne said he’s “disappointed” in MHAs’ conduct, and hopes they’ll pull up their socks.

Earlier story:

Kent kicked out of the House

Tory MHA Steve Kent was ejected from the House of Assembly Wednesday morning, after he refused to apologize for saying that Finance Minister Cathy Bennett was misleading the legislature on Tuesday.

Kent also said that the Liberal MHAs routinely get away with worse than anything he did, and don’t get rapped on the knuckles by the Speaker.

The whole episode started Tuesday afternoon when Kent was asking questions to Bennett about the budget during a portion of debate called “estimates committee.”

Kent says the lieutenant-governor’s private secretary at Government House has been laid off by the Liberal government, and he suggested that it’s no coincidence the person who was doing that job was a longtime Tory.

Kent said he asked Bennett how much the person was paid out in severance and other payments when their job was cut, and he was told the number was $111,000.

When he pressed the point, though, asking for the total number including unused vacation pay, sick leave, salary continuance, Bennett later said that the total cost was $378,000.

Kent accused Bennett of misleading the House.

Under standard parliamentary rules, you’re not allowed to accuse another politician of lying in the legislature — it’s deemed to be “unparliamentary.”

On Wednesday morning, Kent was asked to withdraw the remark by deputy chairman of committees Lisa Dempster. Kent refused, causing him to get booted from the legislature.

Kent says he expects to resume his normal spot in the legislature as soon as Thursday; getting kicked out is generally a one-day affair.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com