The House reconvened for the continuation of the First Session of the 49th General Assembly on November 4th, 2019.
Election of Speaker
The first order of business was the election of a new Speaker. Two candidates put their names forward: Scott Reid, MHA for Humber--St. George's and Perry Trimper, MHA for Lake Melville. Mr. Reid was elected. Derek Bennett, MHA (Lewisporte-Twillingate) was elected Deputy Speaker succeeding Mr. Reid in the position.
Points of Privilege
On November 12, the Opposition House Leader, David Brazil, MHA, raised a point of privilege regarding comments made by a Minister about two MHAs which he described as damaging to the MHAs' reputations. The Speaker ruled that there was a prima facie case of breach of privilege. After considerable debate the House decided that there had been a breach of the two Members' privileges and resolved that the Minister withdraw unequivocally the comments in question. The Member complied with the request.
On December 2, the Government House Leader raised a point of privilege regarding the premature release of a report of the Commissioner for Legislative Standards. The Speaker ruled that a prima facie case had been established. The House referred the matter to the Privileges and Elections Committee which has not reported yet.
Appointment of Privacy Commissioner
Bradley Moss was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council Citizens' Representative for Newfoundland and Labrador on a unanimous resolution of the House of Assembly, and was sworn in for a term of six years on May 1, 2019. Mr. Moss succeeds Barry Fleming.
Reports of the Commissioner for Legislative Standards
On June 25, the Commissioner for Legislative Standards released his report on a complaint made by an MHA of a number of violations of the Code of Conduct by another MHA. The Commissioner concluded that the Member in question had not violated the Code.
On November 13, the Commissioner released a Report arising out of a referral to him by the Speaker of a report prepared by the Citizens' Representative regarding violations of the Code of Conduct by a Minister which required corrective action. The violations related to an appointment to an entity over which the Minister's Department had oversight. The Commissioner recommended a reprimand to ensure that Ministers act diligently in the future when involved in matters which may impact the public purse and governance of crown boards and/or agencies.
The House concurred in the...