Opposition MLAs called for Speaker Charlie Parker’s resignation Thursday, saying they have no faith in the independence of the Speaker’s Office under the Darrell Dexter government.

Liberal MLA Manning MacDonald accused Parker of “toeing the government line,” and demanded the NDP appoint a new speaker.

“(Parker’s) orders are coming from One Government Place, we’re convinced of that,” he said.
“We think the independence of the Speaker’s Office is gone.”

During question period, Liberal MLA Andrew Younger asked a question about Rod MacArthur, the province’s top bureaucrat, whose sudden retirement this summer raised questions of government intervention.

Prior to his retirement, MacArthur had spoken out against the gutting of the Speaker’s Office in the wake of the expense scandal, saying the NDP was threatening the independence of the House of Assembly.

Younger alleged the government fired MacArthur for speaking against the government, paying him a $346,000 severance package.

Parker ruled Younger’s question out of order, saying anything that falls under the jurisdiction of the speaker is out of order.

That prompted an outburst from the Liberals that ultimately resulted in the call for Parker’s resignation.