N.B.. politi­cian apol­o­gizes for giv­ing “fin­ger” to Op­po­si­tion

Cape Breton Post - - News -

FREDERICTON (CP) — A New Brunswick politi­cian has apol­o­gized, a week af­ter mak­ing rude ges­tures that got him sus­pended from the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture for three days.

Abel LeBlanc — the Lib­eral mem­ber for Saint John Lan­caster — was al­lowed to re­turn to his seat on Thurs­day.

He was ex­pelled af­ter rais­ing his mid­dle fin­ger twice and wav­ing his fist dur­ing a ver­bal at­tack on Op­po­si­tion mem­bers last Thurs­day.

Much of the out­burst was di­rected at Con­ser­va­tive Mar­garet-Ann Blaney, while the fist wave was di­rected at Con­ser­va­tive Dale Gra­ham, who LeBlanc called “a punk.”

The en­tire ex­change was broad­cast on the leg­is­la­ture’s live tele­vi­sion feed.

LeBlanc said Thurs­day that he was sorry.

“Mis­ter Speaker, I stand here this af­ter­noon to apol­o­gize to your­self, your staff and the deco­rum of this house,” he said.

“ The things that I did were un­ac­cept­able and I apol­o­gize for that. I would also like to apol­o­gize to the peo­ple in the prov­ince of New Brunswick who have prob­a­bly been of­fended in some form or way.”

Speaker Roy Boudreau de­clared the mat­ter closed but mem­bers of the Op­po­si­tion were not sat­is­fied.

Tory house leader Paul Ro­bichaud rose to call the apol­ogy “ lame” but was cut off by the Speaker.

Out­side the house, Ro­bichaud went fur­ther, say­ing LeBlanc’s apol­ogy should have been di­rected at the two mem­bers he at­tacked.

Blaney called it a half-hearted apol­ogy that was only in­tended to get him back in the leg­is­la­ture.

“I think the fact that he didn’t apol­o­gize to the two peo­ple that he tar­geted with his ag­gres­sion says a lot about how gen­uine he might have been with his apol­ogy,” she said.

LeBlanc did not take ques­tions from re­porters.

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