Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Morris: I didn't err on Standing Order

Published:Saturday | December 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have not often challenged or called journalists about their work. However, I am compelled to respond to Daraine Luton's Gavel column (The Gleaner, December 1, 2014) about what transpired in the Senate on Friday, November 28, 2014.

While the first part of the article reflects accurately what transpired in the Senate, I disagree with the last paragraph. "Montague attempted to bring to the attention of the president that he had relied on the wrong Standing Order in dealing with the Tom Tavares-Finson matter. The Gavel agrees. The appropriate Standing Order is 43(4), which calls for the suspension of a member from the Senate for persistent breaches of the rules."

In my response to Senator Tavares-Finson on his claims that I told him week after week to sit down, I told him that it was my right so to do because the Standing Order and practice require that while the president or chairman is speaking, the member take his seat and allow the president to speak.

I then referred to Standing Order 42, which requires the president to be heard in silence. At that point in time, it was not about naming and suspending Senator Tavares-Finson from the Senate.

ERRONEOUS CLAIMS

Mr Montague's claims that I had relied on the wrong Standing Order is, therefore, pedantic and erroneous.

I also disagree with Mr Luton's claim that I used the wrong Standing Order to deal with the matter. At the time I spoke, my ruling was not about naming or suspending Senator Tavares-Finson because Senator K.D. Knight had made a brilliant intervention that caused me not to go down that path.

I, therefore, believe that your article has done an injustice to me and my ruling. I believe that in the spirit of balance and fairness, you need to correct your interpretation of my actions.

FLOYD MORRIS

President of Senate