Yao apol­o­gizes for giv­ing mid­dle fin­ger to health min­is­ter’s staffer

Fort McMurray Today - - LOCAL NEWS - VIN­CENT MCDER­MOTT To­day Staff -with files from Ed­mon­ton Jour­nal vm­c­der­[email protected]­media.com

Fort Mcmur­ray-wood Buf­falo MLA Tany Yao is apol­o­giz­ing after the prov­ince’s health min­is­ter ac­cused him of giv­ing one of her staffers the fin­ger in a hall­way at the leg­is­la­ture.

In a Wed­nes­day evening post on Twit­ter, Min­is­ter Sarah Hoff­man made the ac­cu­sa­tion in a Wed­nes­day evening post on Twit­ter, ask­ing UCP Leader Ja­son Ken­ney why the in­ci­dent took place “if deco­rum is so im­por­tant to you”?

“Ap­par­ently he was sup­posed to pass it on to me,” she said.

Yao said the ac­tion “was done in jest” and “was clearly in­ap­pro­pri­ate and not con­sis­tent with the tone our Leader has set.”

“I apol­o­gize whole­heart­edly and with­out reser­va­tion for this,” he wrote.

On Thurs­day, Hoff­man told re­porters out­side the leg­is­la­ture that Yao should have brought any dis­agree­ments he had to her­self di­rectly and not to her staff.

“All this talk about how ‘we’ve been so classy, we don’t bang on our desks,’ feel free to bang on your desks. Just don’t flip off my staff,” she said. “I think that there’s a new bar­rier that’s been crossed when you do it to some­one’s staff.”

Since the 2015 elec­tion, this is the sec­ond time an MLA has apol­o­gized for flip­ping some­one off at the leg­is­la­ture.

In 2016, NDP MLA Michael Con­nolly apol­o­gized for mak­ing the ges­ture to­wards op­po­si­tion MLAS dur­ing de­bates.

At first, Con­nolly de­nied he raised his mid­dle fin­ger to­ward, but said he “tried to throw my hand up in the air as a sig­nal of frus­tra­tion.”

Even­tu­ally, Con­nolly apol­o­gized and told re­porters he did not “in­ten­tion­ally mis­lead the house,” but did not re­al­ize the se­ri­ous­ness of his ac­tions at the time.

“It was just the heat of the mo­ment,” he said.

ROBERT MUR­RAY/FORT MCMUR­RAY TO­DAY

Fort Mcmur­ray-wood Buf­falo MLA Tany Yao speaks dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Fort Mcmur­ray Alta. on Fri­day June 16, 2017.

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