Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat
EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature boss is telling both the government and Opposition members to do better following an angry confrontation in the house over earplugs.
Speaker Nathan Cooper says the New Democrats were right to be upset last week when Premier Jason Kenney handed out the plugs so his caucus to tune out an overnight debate over a contentious labour bill.
But Cooper has cautioned the NDP about taking the drastic step of asking him to find government house leader Jason Nixon in contempt of the legislature — which he has refused to do.
The NDP asked for the ruling after stating that Nixon put in the earplugs and later misled the house by saying nobody in government had done so.
Cooper says that under the rules of the house he has to accept the word of members who are speaking about their own actions.
The NDP has criticized Kenney for handing out the earplugs and for his United Conservatives offering three different explanations as to why.