Again, from Monday's proceedings in the Bow-Wow Parliament:
That's the kind of language that a Premier — or Deputy Premier, in this case — would use to defend someone who has to enjoy the confidence of government, not of the House.
MR. KELVIN PARSONS: I ask the Premier: Will Mr. Byrne be repaying this money pursuant to the restitution order, or will the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador be reimbursing the taxpayers for money specifically used for PC Party operations?
MS DUNDERDALE: Mr. Speaker, just let me begin by saying that the Chief Electoral Officer is an officer of this House and we have every confidence in his ability to deal with this matter.
MR. KELVIN PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, these instances are in the Agreed Statement of Facts relating to this case and there may well be many other examples of inappropriate expenses that have not been uncovered or reported.
I ask the Premier and the government: Are you willing to support an independent third-party investigation into election campaigns, to determine whether any other inappropriate funds were channeled to the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador?
MS DUNDERDALE: As I said in my earlier answer, we have every confidence in the Chief Electoral Officer and his ability to deal with these issues. If there was impropriety it was not by the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.
MR. KELVIN PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, in other areas, as I say, where we have had issues: in health care we asked Justice Cameron, if it was Justice we asked Justice Lamer to come in, and if it was the case of the House of Assembly we asked Justice Green to come in.
I ask the Premier: Why are you so adamantly opposed to a third-party investigation that protects the Province’s electoral laws and would identify any abuses that have occurred?
MS DUNDERDALE: As I said, Mr. Speaker, we have every confidence in the Chief Electoral Officer’s ability to deal with this issue, we have every confidence in the Auditor General and his ability to audit MHAs here in this House to ensure that funds are spent appropriately, and we have every confidence in the courts of the land to deal with any improprieties or legal misdoings that may have taken place. All of those processes, we feel, Mr. Speaker, adequately protect the people of the Province.
And that's a problem. Where's Duff Conacher? (And where's the Premier, anyway?) In fact, that is exactly the problem that about five people pointed out would inevitably arise when the former President of the PC Party was named Chief Electoral Officer.
But, if Kathy Blunderdale is claiming to speak for the House, perhaps the House should have a vote.
Restore our trust and confidence — is that the phrase?