House Speaker, Alix Boyd-Knights, has said her family is concerned about her because of remarks posted on Facebook, but she is not afraid of death.
“I do not fear what is to become of my mortal soul because I have lived accordingly,” she said during the opening of Parliament on Thursday morning.
She said the post on Facebook was brought to her attention.
“Basically what the person said is that I am preventing the people’s business in the house, I am blocking questions, I am preventing democracy, all sorts of allegations were made against me and the person finally said I hope she doesn’t get hurt,” the Speaker said.
She said her family fears for her safety.
“My family fears for me and it is upsetting to them,” she noted. “So it is from that point of view that I check on these things and take them a little more seriously than I normally would.”
She added, “OK, this is what is going on in the media about me…”
The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has expressed concerns that its members are not being allowed to ask questions in Parliament.
The party said that Thursday’s sitting is the second consecutive time the opposition has been barred from asking questions by Boyd-Knights.
But the House Speaker countered that Standing Order 22 is very clear on the matter of questions being asked in Parliament.
“I want to read it to the House because it seems very few members read the rules of the House, the Standing Orders or even if they do, they may not understand it so purposes of clarity and everything, I am going to do so,” she said.
She added, “Standing Order 22 is saying a question shall not be asked without notice unless it is of an urgent character or relates to the business of the day and the member has obtained the permission of the Speaker to ask it, number one. Two, notice of a question may be handed by the member to the clerk when the House is sitting or may be sent to or left at the office of the clerk at any time during the hours prescribed for the purpose. Every such notice must be signed by the member giving it and three, the reply to any question may be deferred to the next meeting of the House unless a member asking the question shall have given not less than 14 clear days notice in writing of his intention to ask the same.”
She said any member who wishes to ask a question may do so at any time since the rules dictate how and where to do so.
“The allegation being made against me is that I refused to put questions on the Order Paper but the fact of the matter there is a difference, in case the wider public out there does not appreciate it, between deferring and refusing,” Boyd-Knights stated. “I never refused to put those questions on the Order Paper. They have been deferred because they came in too late. The questions came in 10 days before today’s meeting…”
She also said she has leeway on urgent matters, but questions sent came in late and could not be entertained.
This is not the first time the matter of Facebook threats has come up in Parliament.
In May, Boyd-Knights told the House that she has made a report to the police based on a post on the social media giant by someone who used the name “Roseau Valley.”