The Tories blocked a domestic violence bill as political payback against the Liberals Monday, and opposition parties are not happy about it.
Justice Minister Cecil Clarke told reporters at Province House he wouldn’t allow a vote on the Liberal bill that would have formed a committee aimed at eliminating domestic violence, because the Liberals wouldn’t support the government’s scrap metal bill.
“If one’s not going forward, the other’s not going forward. Plain and simple” said Clarke.
Yesterday the government set up a Domestic Violence Prevention Committee, similar to what the bill would have done. Clarke stood blamed the death of the bill on NDP MLA Diana Whalen, who he said broke an agreement to support both the scrap metal and domestic violence bills.
“I think Diana Whalen should apologize for the politics she was playing,” said Clarke when asked if he would apologize to those offended by his comments.
“If a member wants to politicize the process and that legislation then they need to be held to account.”
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Premier Rodney MacDonald backed up his minister, saying, “We held up our end of the bargain I believe and something wasn’t being held up on the other side.”
But Whalen said she was amazed and offended that Clarke would blame her for killing the bill. She said she and Liberal MLA Michel Samson only voted to hold the scrap metal bill over to the fall because of public concerns the bill wasn’t ready.
“Every bill should be looked at on its own merit. I think what we’ve seen here is some childish antics and some politics,” said Whalen.