ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Speaker of the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature apologized Tuesday for concluding that an NDP politician was in contempt for being a member of a Facebook group where someone else posted an allegedly threatening comment against Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
Ross Wiseman said he was sorry after ejecting Gerry Rogers from the legislature last week.
“Since making this ruling, I have become aware of considerably more information regarding the complexities and the nuances of this new, evolving social media and its use,” Wiseman said.
“My finding of contempt in this situation was erroneous. I offer my own apology to the member for St. John’s Centre.”
Wiseman said since his initial ruling, he has learned that it is possible that people can become members of Facebook groups without consent.
Rogers was suspended from the legislature last Tuesday after she refused to apologize for being a member of a Facebook group called “Kathy Dunderdale must go!” At the time, she said she was added to the group without her agreement or knowledge by someone she didn’t know.
Wiseman and the Progressive Conservative government came under fire following the social media uproar, and the Facebook group in question nearly doubled in size following Rogers’ suspension.
Rogers said Tuesday she accepts Wiseman’s apology.
The government reported the allegedly threatening comment to police, who are trying to determine whether it constitutes a criminal matter.