Friday, October 06, 2006
What do you think???
NB Telegraph-Journal | News - As published on page A1 on October 6, 2006
Tanks for the memories
Politics Speaker Tanker Malley will soon resign, but will get paid until legislature reconvenes Feb. 6
FREDERICTON - Michael (Tanker) Malley won't leave New Brunswick's legislature with an empty wallet.
The defeated Miramichi-Bay du Vin MLA will pocket unprecedented severance pay worth roughly $12,000 in exchange for resigning as Speaker, in what the new Liberal government is dubbing an "unforeseen" legal loophole.
The deal, which was reached with the former Tory MLA in the last few days, has never been offered to a departing Speaker.
The situation occurred because the new Liberal government has decided against recalling the provincial legislature this fall. Under provincial law, Malley doesn't lose his job until a new Speaker is named.
That won't happen until the legislature reconvenes on Feb. 6.
Doug Tyler, who chairs the Liberal transition team, confirmed on Thursday evening that a deal has been struck with Malley at his government's request.
Malley will soon resign as Speaker, but will continue to draw from his roughly $29,000-a-year salary until a replacement is named, Tyler said.
"We are dealing with a situation that has never happened before," Tyler said.
The roughly five months of salary Malley will collect between his election defeat in September and February works out to about $12,000.
Tyler said the Liberals will change the Legislative Assembly Act to prevent similar situations in the future.
"We would intend to introduce legislation to correct this, so this won't happen again," he said. "It is pretty simple: If you don't get elected, you can't be the Speaker."
Jody Carr, the Conservative caucus chair, said the Liberals wouldn't have to offer Malley a severance if the legislature was recalled this fall. He said the Conservatives recalled the legislature for one day in 1999 to replace former Liberal Speaker John MacKay.
"We've heard talk the premier is negotiating packages with the Speaker," Carr said Thursday. "If that's happening, that's totally unacceptable. There is no authority for the premier or the government to be buying out the Speaker, and certainly more answers need to be provided by the premier Shawn Graham on what this discussion is with the Speaker."
The Grits promised during the election campaign to hold a legislative sitting every fall and spring, but have already broken that promise, Carr said.
Tyler said the package wasn't reached by the premier's office.
Loredana Catalli Sonier, the legislature's clerk, struck the agreement at the Liberal government's request, he explained.
"First of all, Mr. Malley understands fully the anomaly that this is but he is in a difficult position," Tyler said. "Basically, all that I have done as someone who has been leading the transition team is ask the clerk if she could find a way with Mr. Malley of resolving this issue."
Tyler said he asked the Conservative government to resolve the situation, but the request was rebuked.
He said the Liberals don't want to recall the legislature this fall, because they haven't finalized which legislative committees they will set up.
Besides collecting $12,000 in severance as Speaker, Malley will also receive the re-establishment allowance offered to every defeated MLA who doesn't qualify for a full pension. That is worth about $25,640 to Malley, who was first elected in 1999. He will also be given an opportunity to purchase a government-issued sports utility vehicle.
The former MLA became a controversial and high-profile figure when he briefly quit the Conservative caucus this year after he was left out of cabinet.
Bernard Lord said at the time that Malley demanded five favours in exchange for his continued loyalty, including the appointment of a Fredericton lawyer as a judge and a job for a personal friend.
Lord rejected the requests, which were called "blackmail tactics" by Conservative MLA Tony Huntjens.
Malley sat briefly as an Independent but returned to the Conservative caucus when he sought election as Speaker. It remains unclear when he will officially resign.
Tyler said he was informed the resignation will be coming shortly.
Since the election is over. I'm just going to post everything on the front blog. But you'll have to press = Read More for the comments.
I wrote a letter to the editor 15 years ago suggesting that the foorest companies should pay for the fencing.
More they clear-cut the more money they pay towards a fence.
I really don’t feel like writing a blog but I feel that I must share my experience when Shawn Graham was sworned in as Premier.
It all began around 10:00am.
I couldn’t go and witness this event so I had to do like the reporters from CBC Radio-Canada who was waiting to gave the listeners the news.
The first one was T.J Burke.
I was surprise that he was selected the new Minister of Justice. My predictions were all wrong.
I was approached by three workers of the P.C. Party ( individually) asking me a question?
They wanted to know if I would hold the Liberals accountable in my blog?
I reminded the workers that many blogs came with the election and are now gone.
I have many issues with the Government and I believe that I will hold them accountable.
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Hey? It’s the People’s Blog so therefore I’m certain the workers from the P.C. Party will leave their comments or concerns in this blog.
I would have join in the gathering but I didn’t chance it because I have a court date in Saint John on November 2th.
I wish to show up in court on my own and not in shackles....lol...
It’s a game of chess and I’m playing BIG TIME!!!
Dan Bussieres has been playing this little game ever since I landed in the Capital in the summer of 2003.
He believes that he’s winning but I’m a very stubborn Acadian. I’ll play along with his dirty game.
I can’t do much until my trial on November 2th in Saint John.
Ok...never mind that. I proceeded at the Lieutenant Governor Mansion and I would soon found out that I was way out of place in the crowd.
Everyone had a fancy suit on and I felt a little uncomfortable.
I might add that the Fredericton Police Force was watching me very closely!!! I wonder why???
I bumped into some citizens from my home town who I haven’t seen in years.
Shawn Graham and his wife greeted all the guests and everyone had a good time.
Once outside someone asked me what I blogged about?
I quickly gave an example and pointed at the flagpole.
I was surprised to noticed that the flag pole was 3/4 painted.
They couldn’t finish the job in time I guess? Maybe they ran out of paint?...lol...
Once inside I told his Royal Highness that he did a good job painting the flagpole.
I believe he must be reading my blog?
Anyway, I asked for a picture and I got one.
Afterwards, it was party time with the Liberals and I will be the first one to admit that maybe I celebrated a little too much.
Ohhh well..c’est la vie!!! No harm done...
I had a good time.
I was very surprise how many people reads my blog. I had comments from all over the Province.
So? We now have a new Government in Fredericton and lets see what’s going to happen???