Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Referred to as ‘schoolgirl’ in N.L. legislature, minister condemns comment as ‘intimidating, sexist, misogynistic’ | Carihargater

In an emotionally charged speech, member of the Home of Meeting (MHA) Lisa Dempster challenged an opposition member Thursday on a comment she says belittles ladies. (CBC)

After being referred to as “a schoolgirl” within the Home of Meeting, a Liberal cupboard minister is confronting the opposition member who made the comment, calling it “intimidating, sexist, misogynistic,” and with no place within the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature.

Lisa Dempster, the minister for the standing of girls, Indigenous affairs and reconciliation in addition to Labrador affairs, rose firstly of query interval Thursday to deal with the remark, made a day earlier by PC member of the Home of Meeting (MHA) Barry Petten.

On Wednesday, Petten, the MHA for Conception Bay South, stated Dempster was “cackling over there like a schoolgirl,” whereas debating a non-public member’s movement to push the subsequent normal election to October 2021. 

The following day Dempster stated, in no unsure phrases, that was unacceptable.

“Utilizing the time period schoolgirl, with the intent to belittle, condescend and scold was fallacious, and it was a breach of privilege,” Dempster stated in a speech charged with emotion, her voice breaking.

“The phrases we select impression our attitudes, actions and behavior towards ladies.”

Dempster stated elected members ought to lead with their phrases and actions and acknowledge that gender inequity and gender-based violence are instantly tied to how individuals speak about, deal with and worth ladies. 

“Sadly, it’s all too typically normalized and unchallenged,” she stated. “I rise right this moment to problem it.”


Petten did apologize on Wednesday within the Home of Meeting, and on Thursday he apologized once more for his remarks, this time providing a clarification.

“My commentary yesterday was throughout heated debate. There was actions on the opposite aspect, and I am going to depart that.… It was a cutthroat debate. There was numerous issues being stated backwards and forwards,” Petten stated. 

“In that second, with lots of heckling happening, I did make that remark. It was no manner supposed to be the way in which it has been portrayed.”

Tory MHA Barry Petten apologized for remarks he made within the N.L. legislature on Wednesday. (CBC)

Dempster moved that the Home of Meeting take into account it a violation of her privilege as an MHA.

Petten stated his integrity as an individual is being challenged and needed fellow provincial politicians and most people to know that he’s a great father, husband and son. 

He stated he would not need the alternate to show into “some form of backwards and forwards, and I am this horrible particular person and that I condemn ladies.”

“I do provide my honest apologies. That is not who I’m. I do really feel very unlucky that she feels that manner, and I do withdraw my remarks.”

No ruling but

Home Speaker Scott Reid stated he is not going to make a ruling on the remarks made by Petten but. 

Often when a member apologizes and withdraws remarks the matter is over, he stated. 

“However I will depart this till I return on Monday to make my closing ruling on this matter,” he stated. “I will overview a number of the transcripts and take a look at this just a little additional and take into consideration what members have stated right here on this level of privilege.”

Dempster’s problem towards Petten got here on the identical day she acknowledged the Worldwide Day of the Woman, which falls on Oct. 11.

“When this present day was first acknowledged, there was an oath we had been requested to take. Partially it acknowledged, ‘We have a good time as a result of women are leaders. Women make a distinction. Women’ rights matter,” Dempster stated. 

“These phrases are as vital right this moment as they had been eight years in the past.” 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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