House speaker apologizes to Rogers over Facebook fiasco
Ross Wiseman, the speaker of the Newfoundland and Labrador house of assembly, has apologized in the legislature for finding NDP MHA Gerry Rogers in contempt one week ago.
Wiseman found Rogers in contempt and ejected her from the house after Rogers refused to apologize for a comment someone else made on a Facebook group page criticizing Premier Kathy Dunderdale. Rogers said she had been added as a member of the group without her consent.
"Since making this ruling, I have become aware of considerably more information regarding the complexities of social media," Wiseman told MHAs on Tuesday.
"And its use particularly as it pertains to legislatures, and particularly the manner in which individuals may find themselves attached to a group without their consent."
Wiseman went on to say that all members of the legislature need to learn more about how social media works.
"Consequently, my finding of contempt in this situation was erroneous and I offer my own apology to the member of St. John's Centre for the position for which she was placed as she was asked to apologize to this house of assembly."
Rogers told reporters after Question Period that she accepts the speaker's apology, but she added that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were owed an apology as well.
"I think the apology is not just about me," said Rogers. "But it's about our democratic process."
Rogers' ejection from the legislature last Tuesday unleashed a barrage of coverage of MHAs activities on social media, including traffic on Dunderdale's own Twitter account, which resulted in the premier shutting it down last Thursday.