Local News

MLA stands by 'morons' remark

Wearing his pink shirt for anti-bullying day, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature about his insults directed at the B.C. Conservative Party. - Tom Fletcher/Black Press
Wearing his pink shirt for anti-bullying day, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature about his insults directed at the B.C. Conservative Party.
— image credit: Tom Fletcher/Black Press

VICTORIA – Anti-bullying day at the B.C. legislature was marked by debate about Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger's blast at the B.C. Conservatives as "unmitigated morons" and "scum" for criticizing B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Pat Bell.

Krueger fired off an angry e-mail to the B.C. Conservatives after leader John Cummins called for Bell to be suspended from cabinet over allegations Bell may have interfered in the location of a new wood innovation centre in his home town of Prince George.

Bell and Premier Christy Clark rejected the allegations, after unsuccessful bidders for the project released a letter claiming Bell promised them their site would be short-listed for the new wood centre.

Bell said the bidding process was overseen by a lawyer acting as "fairness adviser," and the lawyer has advised that the project should proceed on another site in downtown Prince George.

Asked about his insulting response Wednesday, Krueger said he used harsh language in the heat of the moment, but he has no apologies to offer. He was "indignant" that political opponents attacked Bell after it was revealed he has a serious heart condition that has prompted him to retire from politics in May.

Krueger laughed when asked if he thought his comments constituted bullying.

"I think that the irony in that is just amazing," said Krueger, who is also retiring as an MLA before the May election.

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett, who earlier got into trouble  by sending an insulting e-mail to a constituent, also shrugged off the suggestion that Krueger was acting like a bully.

"I agree with him about the morons part," Bennett said. "This is a rough business. It doesn't matter what political party you're part of, it's a contact sport."

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