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Filibuster halts Manitoba Legislature Wednesday

Ousted Conservative MP Steven Fletcher tied up the Legislature just as it returned from summer break Oct. 4, 2017.
Ousted Conservative MP Steven Fletcher tied up the Legislature just as it returned from summer break Oct. 4, 2017. Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press

The return to the Manitoba Legislature after a summer break has been brought to a halt by a series of prolonged motions and speeches by an MLA.

Assiniboia MLA Steven Fletcher, who was ousted from the Progressive Conservative Caucus in June and now sits as an independent MLA, spent hours reserved for the autumn’s first Question Period filibustering on Wednesday.

The move comes as Fletcher argues he should be able to cross the house floor without having to remain an independent – a point that has been repeatedly denied.

READ MORE: Ousted backbencher Steven Fletcher fighting for right to cross floor

On Wednesday, Fletcher’s filibuster was supported by another independent member and the three Liberal MLAs present.

The five members working together allowed contested points brought forward by Fletcher, such as the removing of YouTube videos, and House security, to go to recorded vote in the Legislature.

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Newly-elected NDP leader Wab Kinew made his house debut as party head, introducing Bernadette Smith as a new NDP MLA before Fletcher started talking. As of 4 p.m., the filibuster was still going.

RELATED: Wab Kinew voted in as new leader of Manitoba NDP

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