Manitoba NDP leader’s criminal past fair game in legislature

By Steve Lambert THE CANADIAN PRESS WINNIPEG- The Speaker of the Manitoba legislature rejected a request Monday to forbid politicians from discussing their opponents’ criminal convictions and other troubles. Myrna Driedger rejected a request from Liberal member Judy Klassen, who wanted Tory government members banned from referencing NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s legal troubles during debates in the chamber. “Freedom of speech is one of the most important principles underlying the function of this and any Canadian legislature,’’ Driedger ruled Monday. “It is, in fact, one of the main pillars of parliamentary privilege.’’ Driedger pointed to precedents set by Speakers in the House of Commons and elsewhere that have upheld the protection from being sued or prosecuted for virtually anything said inside the chamber. Such protection, Driedger said, is needed to…

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