Michael brings voices of the world to Bill 29 debate

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) fears remarks made by the Justice Minister in debate last night could result in international embarrassment for this province and for Canada.

“Mr. Speaker, Canada is a well-respected member of the international community. We are also a respected member of the Commonwealth ― as is our colleague country Uganda ― equal in every respect to Canada in the federation. What is said in the House of Commons and in provincial Houses can have international repercussions,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Justice, will he stand and apologize for remarks he has made about these countries to avoid any possible diplomatic embarrassment for Canada?”

Michael pointed out that people in Newfoundland and Labrador know all too well how off-hand remarks can outrage and hurt the entire population of an area. “Mr. Speaker, when a politician or celebrity from elsewhere says something disparaging about Newfoundland and Labrador, people in this province are quick to react with outrage. We are proud of who we are,” she said.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Justice, why does he think it is okay for him to disparage the proud people of other countries?”

Michael also questioned the minister about the strong opposition his Bill has drawn from nationally-respected groups including the Canadian Association of Journalists and Democracy Watch.

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