NDP leader seeking apology from Liepert

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has acknowledged one of his ministers was wrong to bar opposition politicians from a press conference, but that wasn’t enough for NDP Leader Brian Mason.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has acknowledged one of his ministers was wrong to bar opposition politicians from a press conference, but that wasn’t enough for NDP Leader Brian Mason.

Mason, who was blocked from entering a government press conference along with Liberal Opposition Leader David Swann, is still looking for an apology from Tory health minister Ron Liepert.

“What I really want to see is Mr. Liepert apologize in the House,” said Mason.

“I was there to do my job. When somebody interferes with an MLA doing his or her job that is considered a contempt of the legislature and it’s considered a very serious matter.”

Mason said he’ll be asking the Speaker of the legislative assembly to rule that it can’t happen again.

“I want the speaker to rule that it’s not up to the government whether we can come to their news conferences or not if they’re in public buildings but that it’s part of our rights as opposition MLAs.”

Stelmach, however, said Friday that Mason and Swann should have been allowed into the news conference where Liepert announced changes to a seniors’ drug plan.

“That is not part of the way I do business or our government does business and they’re welcome for news conferences and I’ll speak to cabinet on Tuesday just to get the message very clear,” Stelmach said.

Lethbridge East Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor and a couple of Grit staffers were also barred from the news conference. Liepert’s officials did not return phone calls.

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