David Brazil accused of making 'fake' apology

Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberals have brought a complaint of contempt against David Brazil, the Tory backbencher who last week was found to have been in an ethics breach.

Liberal Andrew Parsons alleges that Tory MHA is in contempt of the legislature

Tory backbencher David Brazil is under fire for comments he made last week outside the legislature. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberals have brought a complaint of contempt against David Brazil, the Tory backbencher who last week was found to have been in an ethics breach.

Opposition House Leader Andrew Parsons questioned the sincerity of the apology Brazil gave to the house of assembly, particularly since he refused to apologize to the public when he later spoke with reporters.

"I find it hard to apologize for being active, doing nothing wrong — doing nothing, and the reports have shown that," Brazil said when he spoke to reporters last Thursday.

Brazil ran afoul of legislative rules because he did not disclose to the house that he was involved with a community group, the Bell Island Senior Hockey Association, which was receiving provincial government funding for an adult basic education program.

Brazil's comments to reporters last week prompted Parsons to stand on a point of privilege on Tuesday, arguing that Brazil was in contempt of the legislature.

"It is our position that an apology in this house, as was ordered, is to be clear and unequivocal," Parsons said.

"However, 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," said Parsons. 

Speaker Ross Wiseman, after calling a recess, said he would examine the evidence for the complaint.

In the meantime, Brazil, who represents Conception Bay East-Bell Island, stood again in the house to make an apology.

"Mr. Speaker, I apologize to this house, unequivocally," Brazil said.

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