Laxton makes questionable call

The rules of the Yukon Legislative Assembly can be confusing. No one likely knows this better than Speaker David Laxton. It's alright to say that other members have their facts wrong, but not to call them liars.

The rules of the Yukon Legislative Assembly can be confusing. No one likely knows this better than Speaker David Laxton.

It’s alright to say that other members have their facts wrong, but not to call them liars. The later “imputes motive,” or suggests that they did it on purpose, and that’s not OK because the members are supposed to treat each other as honourable.

On Monday, NDP leader Liz Hanson called Premier Darrell Pasloski’s assertion that his government’s contributions to First Nations go beyond obligations “untrue and unfair.”

House Leader Brad Cathers argued that by saying that what the premier had said was untrue, Hanson had de facto called him a liar.

Hanson had been reprimanded in November for saying that Liberal Leader Sandy Silver had lied.

Laxton sided with Cathers and asked Hanson to retract her statement.

Hanson “explicitly implied that the premier’s statement was in fact an untruth,” said Laxton.

Cathers then responded to Hanson’s question by saying that her “assertions and quite simply the entire content of her question are not factually correct.”

When NDP member Jan Stick asked for clarification as to why it is alright to say, “not factually correct” but not “untrue,” Laxton dismissed her.

“I have already given a ruling on the other one,” he said. “There is no point of order. Next question please.”