Trimper admits a "serious mistake", as PCs demand that women register to be identified

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Perry Trimper apologized again and pledged to regain the trust of his Lake Melville constituents, but the opposition politicians and the Innu Nation claim that the woman in the inadvertently registered comments of the MHA must also be identified and held accountable. .

The registration, which was carried out last week when Trimper failed to properly hang up the phone after a conversation with an Innu Nation representative on translation services, leaves unanswered questions on the language of the other unidentified participant during the call, PC leader Ches Crosbie said Tuesday.

"The Innu themselves, and I think the general public, recognizes that there is a public interest in knowing the identity of the second person on that phone call that could be heard in some cases with Mr. Trimper", has said Crosbie.

On Thursday, the Innu Nation released a recording of a conversation Trimper had with an unidentified woman after a phone call with the translation rights group for motor vehicle documents. In the call, left by mistake in the answering machine of Domenic Rich, the executive assistant of the organization, Trimper states that the Innu Nation plays "the race card". The woman also makes disparaging remarks about the Innu.

Trimper apologized for Thursday's comments and announced his resignation from Premier Dwight Ball's cabinet on Friday, although he remains an MHA in the liberal caucus.

On Tuesday he reiterated in a Facebook post that although he did not mean anything malicious with his words, he knew he had made a serious mistake and would work to understand why he had made comments and to make amends.

"I disappointed people last week, so I'm really sorry," Trimper said in the post.

Ball said the woman in the call is not a ruling politician, but refused to identify her. Trimper also refused to identify the woman when asked.

Crosbie said he was puzzled that Ball could confirm that the unidentified woman had no executive or political position in the government, but also that she didn't know the woman's name.

"Mr. Ball is the premier. He has duties towards the public," he said.

"All he has to do alone is pick up the phone and call Mr. Trimper. Presumably it is no longer difficult to find out."

Innu Nation also wants to know

On Monday, Ball met with representatives of the Innu Nation in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, when both sides signed a declaration on institutional racism within the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

Innu Nation's big boss Gregory Rich said after the meeting that Innu Nation can't negotiate with the province on public services in Labrador while the second person in the registration remains unidentified. Ball said at that moment that the person needed to be identified, although he reiterated that he did not have a decision-making position within the government.

The protesters who gathered at the Trimper constituency office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Monday also wanted to know who the second person was of the call.

Lake Melville, MHA Perry Trimper, resigned from his government post on Friday, but remains in the liberal caucus. (Jacob Barker / CBC)

If the woman is a person with a government role, it should be replaced, said Kirk Lethbridge, who organized the protest. If she is not involved in the government, Lethbridge said, this raises concerns about the level of privacy for the phone call that Trimper had with the Innu Nation.

If the woman in conversation with Trimper on the recording is a private citizen, this could change the discussion on the release of her name or identity, Crosbie said, but does not completely interrupt the conversation.

"This raises another problem," he said, "which is that, why does a private person without any government connection know of a phone call that has to do with Innu business?"

Read more from CBC Terranova and Labrador

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