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Crosbie Calls on Premier to Remove Gerry Byrne From Cabinet for Intolerable Behaviour
Crosbie said, “Mr. Byrne’s behaviour has crossed the line of what is acceptable of a Minister of the Crown."
Friday, November 8, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition 

For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (November 8, 2019) – PC Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie is calling on Premier Dwight Ball to remove Gerry Byrne from Cabinet in view of the Fisheries and Land Resources Minister’s intolerable behaviour.

In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Byrne called farmers “poachers”, said that maybe Mount Pearl North MHA Jim Lester “is not always on the side of the law himself” and accused St. John’s Centre NDP MHA Jim Dinn of engaging in “a pattern of behaviour of marginalization of Indigenous” people in the province.

Crosbie said, “Mr. Byrne’s behaviour has crossed the line of what is acceptable of a Minister of the Crown. Hurling malicious accusations against members of other parties and the general public – accusing honourable people of being criminals and racists – is not only repulsive, but intolerable of any Minister, particularly in light of the harassment scandals that saw other Members removed from Cabinet and reprimanded.”

The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that all Members “shall ensure that their conduct does not bring the integrity of their office or the House of Assembly into disrepute” and “will carry out their official duties … in a manner that protects the public interest and enhances public confidence and trust in government and in high standards of ethical conduct in public office.”

Crosbie said, “I note that the Premier has not yet brought forward new harassment legislation and wonder if this is an indication that the Premier’s resolve to stop bullying has vanished and he is so desperate to hold on to members in his minority caucus that he is willing to ignore behaviour he once found unacceptable.”

“If a public employee had spoken the way the Minister spoke in the House on Thursday, they would have been reprimanded or perhaps even fired under the public sector’s strict harassment policy. A Minister of the Crown should not be held to a lesser standard, as if he is above accountability and immune from repercussions for behaviour that clearly falls within the realm of bullying and harassment.”

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

(c) 1.709.685.3161

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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