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Peter Van Loan objects to name-calling, proceeds to name-call

The Government House Leader is profoundly saddened


 

After Question Period yesterday, the Government House Leader rose with the defining point of order of our time.

The approach employed by the NDP not only personalizes debate, but it does so in an offensive and inflammatory fashion. Consider what we might expect to hear if the NDP position became the accepted practice in the chamber. If this kind of name-calling is allowed, it would apply not just to ministers and parliamentary secretaries, of course, but to opposition shadow ministers. For example, the hon. member for Halifax, the NDP’s environment critic, could well be referred to as the NDP spokesperson for creating a crippling carbon tax.

According to the NDP, this would be parliamentary language. I do not believe it is. Instead of the hon. member for Parkdale—High Park described as the NDP finance critic, she could instead be called the NDP spokesperson for bigger government and higher taxes, or perhaps the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay could be the spokesperson for unethical interference with independent electoral boundary commissions or, since he changed his vote on the long gun registry, maybe he could be the spokesperson for betraying rural Canadians.

The complaint goes back to March 8, when the New Democrats made reference to “the minister responsible for butchering employment insurance,” which the Conservatives interpreted as an attempt to suggest that was Diane Finley’s actual title. This presents a fairly tricky parsing for the Speaker, I suspect—certainly less obvious than, say, NDP references to Tony Clement as the “Muskoka Minister.” Parsing parliamentary insults is always fun. For instance, I suspect that if the New Democrats had referred to Ms. Finley as “the minister who has been responsible for the butchering of employment insurance” or “the minister who butchered employment insurance” there probably wouldn’t be grounds for a complaint here.

I’m not sure Pierre Poilievre has apologized for referring to Charlie Angus as the “gerrymanderer-in-chief over there.” But perhaps an apology could be part of some kind of armistice agreement between the government and official opposition.

Thankfully, such rules of civility do not apply to parliamentary sketchwriters.


 

Peter Van Loan objects to name-calling, proceeds to name-call

  1. The Minister for keeping a straight face performed well today.

  2. If Peter Van Loan is concerned about decorum then he should reverse his refusal to join with the other parties in approaching the speaker with a request for stricter enforcement of the rules. Both NDP and Liberal House Leaders proposed this, but PVL said it wasn’t a priority.

    He and his party are responsible for the bile that afflicts the House. He is also the only member in recent history who had to be physically restrained in order to protect him from getting his ass kicked.

  3. PVL, Minister of Can Dish It Out But Can’t Take It. His title should just be shortened to Minister of Hypocrisy.

  4. Shorter VL: We on this side of the House can call you names[ presumably because they’re self evidently true] but you, the opposition, mustn’t call us names…or we will call you some more names..nyahh nyahh na na nyahh…

    Sometimes i wonder if VL’s elevator goes all the way to the top floor? I guess he’s just partisan to the very core.

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