Trent Wotherspoon, the interim leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, was ordered to leave the legislature Thursday after he refused to apologize for calling the budget “deceitful.”
Wotherspoon first used the word during question period when asking Premier Brad Wall about the Global Transportation Hub land deal, saying “before we get to some of the very serious concerns and questions about the deceitful…and mean-spirited budget of the Sask. Party.”
The word was used by Wotherspoon again during a discussion about the closure of the STC.
“This is a premier who didn’t say boo about this in the run-up to the election, through the election and beyond. He looked into the whites of the eyes of Saskatchewan people, hand over heart, he pledged that he wouldn’t sell off the Crown corporations. This is deceitful and it’s damaging Mr. Speaker,” Wotherspoon said.
Speaker Corey Tochor said Wotherspoon’s remarks were against decorum and asked him to withdraw and apologize.
“Mr. Speaker, with due respect, I will not apologize,” Wotherspoon said.
He later added that he “can’t apologize for this deceptive budget and the deceit of this premier.”
Tochor then suspended Wotherspoon from the legislative assembly for the remainder of the day.
Wotherspoon later spoke to reporters after question period saying he chose his words carefully when he called it a deceitful budget.
“I tried to use my words today in a way that met the parliamentary rules, which is often difficult when you’re dealing with a budget and a government like this.”
The Saskatchewan budget was unveiled yesterday. It includes a one per cent provincial sales tax increase with a deficit forecast at $685 million.
Controversy around language has come up in Canadian politics before. In the House of Commons in November Green Party Leader Elizabeth May interrupts Conservative MP Michelle Rempel for using the word “fart.”