John Horgan (Canadian Press files)

Horgan backs name calling ban in B.C. legislature, admits ‘lowering debate’

Speaker Darryl Plecas to no longer allow questions that refer to cabinet ministers by nicknames

Premier John Horgan says he’s been guilty of some of the most aggressive examples of name calling in British Columbia’s legislature, but now he’s on the government side he supports a ban on derogatory language and name calling by politicians.

Horgan says he backs a ruling by legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas to no longer allow questions that refer to cabinet ministers by nicknames because it’s derogatory, disrespectful and reflects poorly on the house.

READ MORE: House of Commons heckling an issue for new MPs, report says

Plecas also says he will not tolerate future challenges to his authority by legislature members.

Plecas says he had to act after the Opposition Liberals persisted in addressing New Democrat cabinet ministers and the premier by nicknames rather than their formal titles.

The Liberals have called Horgan minister of defence, and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham minister of intimidation during recent question periods.

Liberal house leader Mike de Jong says Plecas unilaterally changed parliamentary language rules, but Horgan says he backs the Speaker’s efforts to bring a more civil tone to the legislature.

The Canadian Press

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