MHA's request to reverse Rogers decision rejected

Independent Tom Osborne asked the Speaker Thursday to reverse his decision to eject NDP member Gerry Rogers from the legislature, but his request was rejected.
Debate continues about Ross Wiseman's decision against Gerry Rogers, reports Curtis Rumbolt 2:02

Independent Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Tom Osborne asked the Speaker of the house of assembly on Thursday to reverse his decision to eject NDP member Gerry Rogers from the legislature.

But his request was rejected.

Speaker Ross Wiseman had Rogers removed from the house on Tuesday for refusing to apologize for comments posted by someone else in an anti-Kathy Dunderdale Facebook group.

Osborne said on Thursday he thinks Wiseman's ruling could set a precedent.

However, under the rules of the house, Osborne was seen as challenging the Speaker's decision, which is not permitted.

"At the end of the day the Speaker has the power to do what he did a couple of days ago," Osborne told reporters. "Whether or not you agree with the decision, whether or not you believe it is a good decision, is a different story. It's not open for debate."

Osborne said he will not challenge Wiseman's ruling, but he said he still thinks the Speaker made the wrong call. 

Prof calls Wiseman ruling 'odd'

Meanwhile, a political science professor at Memorial University also believes Wiseman made the wrong call in ejecting Rogers from the house. 

Memorial political science professor Kerry Blidook says he finds Wiseman's ruling 'odd.' (CBC )

"I don't think it's a grey area," said Kelly Blidook. "I don't think she did anything that would warrant the ruling."

Blidook said contempt is defined as when an MHA says something inside the legislature that is not permitted, such as calling another member a liar.

"She [Rogers] didn't say anything outside or inside, so contempt of the legislature is an odd ruling," said Blidook.

He added the ruling might mean Wiseman, a longtime Progressive Conservative, showed a bias, or it could simply mean Wiseman did not understand how Facebook works. 

"There's no merit to her eviction," said Blidook. "I can't think of any other way of explaining it."

Rogers' eviction from the house triggered a CBC investigation into government MHAs' activities on social media, which resulted in the premier shutting down her own Twitter account.