Tensions flare at legislative assembly

Speaker David Laxton has his hands full in the legislative assembly these days. It’s his job to ensure that MLAs treat each other honourably, even when they disagree and can’t get along.

Speaker David Laxton has his hands full in the legislative assembly these days.

It’s his job to ensure that MLAs treat each other honourably, even when they disagree and can’t get along.

He admonished the assembly last week for their use of unparliamentary language.

Education Minister Scott Kent accused the NDP of “fear-mongering” and said that Opposition Leader Liz Hanson “should be ashamed of herself” for expressing concerns over a draft policy that would restrict Education staff making statements to the media.

Energy Minister Brad Cathers accused NDP MLA Jim Tredger of “mudslinging” when he questioned the effectiveness of the Mayo B hydro project and its impact of winter flooding around Mayo.

And Environment Minister Currie Dixon called comments that Tredger made about plans to use liquefied natural gas in the territory “rather inaccurate and silly.”

Tensions came to a head yesterday when Cathers accused the NDP of voting against consultation with businesses on employment standards, a point that the NDP disputes.

“It would promote the debate if the minister focused on clear and transparent communication and focused on telling the truth,” said Tredger before he was interrupted.

“You will apologize for that immediately,” said Laxton, visibly agitated.

“You just accused a member of lying. I’m getting a little tired of this from both sides. The rhetoric in this house right now has gone from a great high to very below-acceptable levels. You will apologize and then finish your question.”

Tredger retracted his statement and, after further prompting, apologized.