Fletcher ac­cuses MLAs of se­cu­rity breach, too

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - NICK MARTIN nick.martin@freep­ress.mb.ca

IN­DE­PEN­DENT Assini­boia MLA Steven Fletcher ac­cused at least 20 MLAs on Mon­day of breach­ing se­cu­rity by post­ing their lo­ca­tions on so­cial me­dia dur­ing an evac­u­a­tion of the leg­is­la­ture build­ing on Oct. 5.

Fletcher raised a point of priv­i­lege Mon­day, though he started by telling Speaker Myrna Driedger she was cor­rect to chide him last week for un­in­ten­tion­ally plac­ing se­cu­rity de­tails on the pub­lic record when he raised con­cerns about cabi­net and mem­bers be­ing vul­ner­a­ble dur­ing evac­u­a­tions.

As a re­sult, Fletcher said he was in­spired to check so­cial me­dia and found nu­mer­ous mem­bers of the house — he said in an in­ter­view there were at least 20 — “‘ir­re­spon­si­bly” posted mes­sages and photos of ex­actly where they were on dozens of so­cial me­dia plat­forms in real time.

“The bad guys don’t read Hansard (of­fi­cial tran­scripts of leg­isla­tive pro­ceed­ings), but they sure do fol­low so­cial me­dia,” Fletcher said.

He said their ac­tions left every mem­ber vul­ner­a­ble out­side on the lawn and ad­ja­cent side­walks, and it was “be­yond the pale” that MLAs re­vealed the muster point for evac­u­a­tions.

Fletcher de­manded Driedger or­der the MLAs to delete all their so­cial me­dia post­ings about the evac­u­a­tion, and de­velop new evac­u­a­tion plans with new muster points.

How­ever, Driedger ruled that she has no con­trol over what MLAs say out­side the house, and that Fletcher did not have a le­git­i­mate point of priv­i­lege.

The Oct. 5 evac­u­a­tion re­sulted from a tele­phone threat. Noth­ing was found and there were no in­juries, but the build­ing was emp­tied for about 90 min­utes.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Assini­boia MLA Steven Fletcher.

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