Say that outside the rail.
When all else failed many a politician has turned to that tried and tested line of defence, just like Transportation Minister Robert Vessey did recently when the opposition questioned work done to demolish the old high school in Montague.
If Opposition Leader Steven Myers had accusations to make about the company that did the work he should take them “outside the rail”, Vessey said.
But what does that mean?
MLAs are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means they can stand up on the floor of the house and say pretty much anything whether it’s true or not.
It also means reporters are free to report those things without fear of legal repercussions.
MLAs still have to maintain a certain decorum in the house and what they say can be ruled unparliamentary, like calling another member a liar, but from a legal perspective they can get away with saying any number of things.
The same rules apply to MPs.
In Province House there is a physical railing around the legislature floor and once an MLA steps beyond it they have to tread carefully and often won’t repeat what they said inside the rail.
They have to decide if scoring a few political points is worth a potentially hefty legal bill.
Chances are it’s not.