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'Harassing me': Saskatchewan Speaker says he fears house leader is packing a handgun

The Speaker of the Saskatchewan legislature has cut up his party membership card and accused some members in Premier Scott Moe's caucus of intimidating him to the point that he fears the government house leader is packing a handgun.

Randy Weekes told the chamber Thursday that when government house leader Jeremy Harrison disagreed with his rules, Harrison would yell, text Weekes, make threatening gestures and occasionally flash the inside of his suit jacket as if to reveal a concealed weapon.

"I worry (Harrison) might be carrying a handgun," Weekes told the house.

He said Harrison also "flouted the rules" by bringing a hunting rifle into the legislature building.

"He owns many weapons, including a .223 AR-style four-shot clip lightweight, which looks like an assault weapon," Weekes said.

"Weapons like these can be easily converted to more than four shots."

<who> Photo credit: Canadian Press </who> Randy Weekes, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.

Weekes has been part of the governing Saskatchewan Party but has to be impartial in his role as Speaker.

He said Harrison and the Saskatchewan Party caucus have tried to intimidate him to get him to bend to their will.

"Harrison and leadership just wanted me to do whatever they wanted," Weekes told reporters after his speech in the house.

"They kept harassing me with text messages. The government house leader just shows utter contempt for the institution, for this legislature, by his behaviour.

"I just said enough is enough."

Weekes made the comments on the last day of the spring sitting.

Harrison was not made available for comment.

Premier Scott Moe told reporters he hasn’t talked to Harrison about the accusations.

He also said Weekes never brought those concerns to him.

"I would have appreciated a conversation, but we're probably beyond that," Moe said.

"I've never seen a gun or heard of a gun being in the building."

Moe said Weekes has "sour grapes" from losing his nomination to represent the party in the Kindersley-Biggar constituency for the upcoming fall election.

"(It’s) the allegation of a sore loser in a nomination race,” said Moe.

Tension between Weekes and his Saskatchewan Party colleagues had simmered for months before boiling over in public.

Last month, Weekes ordered Finance Minister Donna Harpauer to apologize for sending him a text message critical of how he was overseeing the house.

Weekes said he was bombarded by texts from Harrison, including one that used an expletive to characterize a ruling felt to be unfairly in favour of the Opposition NDP.

Lori Carr, the deputy government house leader, also frequently texted Weekes about proceedings in the legislature, he added.

Weekes said there were also problems outside the house.

He said a government staffer lunged at him outside the chamber. He said an unnamed legislature member attempted to head-butt him at a private function.

Earlier this week, Weekes read aloud in the chamber a letter from the province's former sergeant-at-arms critical of how the government handled security.

NDP Leader Carla Beck said Moe should investigate the Speaker's allegations.

"Saskatchewan people deserve better than this,” said Beck.

“These actions and weak leadership by the premier cause people to have concerns about the decisions being made in this assembly.”

Weekes said he will remain as Speaker until the legislature resumes after the election and a new one is chosen.

After that, Weekes said he wants to work promoting democracy in developing countries.



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