Disturbance in the House - Macleans.ca

Disturbance in the House

The benches empty as Peter Van Loan crosses the aisle


Ralph Goodale reports on some kind of confrontation in the House following a vote this afternoon.

Altercation on floor of HofC – DefMin MacKay has to pull his HouseLeader + another ConsMin out of silly scrap with Mulcair+ Dippers….

Lots of talk and gestures. Nose to nose, but no apparent direct contact.

Right after vote, Cons House Leader crossed floor to confront NDP leadership group. Tempers clearly flared.

CTV has the House video that shows Peter Van Loan and Gary Goodyear on the NDP side of the House.

Update 5:13pm. There was maybe a middle finger involved?

Update 5:27pm. A little bit of background is apparently necessary. After Question Period, Nathan Cullen rose on a point of order to argue that the final vote on C-45 last night was out of order because the person moving for the vote, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, was not in his seat when the motion was brought forward. After submissions from all sides on this, the Speaker promised to get back to the House and the House proceeded to a separate vote. After that vote, the Speaker ruled that the final vote last night was in order. It is apparently after that ruling, as MPs were milling about, that, at least according to the New Democrats, Peter Van Loan crossed the aisle and complained to Mr. Cullen about Mr. Cullen’s point of order. Mr. Mulcair seems to have objected to Mr. Van Loan’s treatment of Mr. Cullen and, in the ensuing discussion, cross words seem to have been exchanged.

Update 5:58pm. Oddly enough, this confrontation was preceded by a notably civil moment between Mr. Mulcair and the Prime Minister. Immediately after Mr. Cullen’s point of order, as MPs were being called in for the subsequent vote, the NDP leader crossed the aisle and sat down beside Mr. Harper. The two chatted apparently amicably for a few minutes, Mr. Mulcair even laughing at something Mr. Harper said. The two parted company with a handshake.

Update 6:16pm. C-45 has just now passed a vote at third and is off to the Senate.

Update 6:31pm. Here is CBC’s version of the House video: it’s a bit longer than the CTV cut and in it you can see Mr. Van Loan walk across the aisle immediately after Speaker Scheer finished delivering his ruling.

Update 6:55pm. Here is video of Mr. Cullen’s interview with CTV. Via Twitter, Scott Brison offers his colour commentary.

Mulcair has a temper, but Van Loan would have turned Gandhi into a cold blooded killer.

Update 8:00pm. Peter MacKay tweets his version of events.

Whoa – Angry Tom at it again! NDP snaps at Van Loan for standing up for Canada’s economic recovery

Here is Mr. Cullen’s interview with the CBC.

Update 8:25pm. A statement from Peter Van Loan.

We are disappointed that the NDP has attempted to obstruct the passage of the important job creating measures in the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012.

Today, I conveyed my disappointment to the NDP House Leader for the hypocrisy of his complaint which related to a mistake by a member of his own caucus last night.

It is normal for me to speak with the opposition House Leaders. I was however surprised how Mr. Mulcair snapped and lost his temper.

The reference to “a mistake by a member of his own caucus” is apparently a reference to the fact that Deputy Speaker Joe Comartin was in the Speaker’s chair when the vote in question was called last night.

Update 9:38pm. The Canadian Press talks to Mr. Cullen.

For his part, Cullen wouldn’t specify precisely what was said but indicated that Van Loan used “a lot of real bad language, threatening language.” “It was inappropriate and then Tom said, ‘Don’t threaten my House leader,’ and that’s when we all sort of stood up to make sure it didn’t go any further,” Cullen said in an interview. “You’ve got to get him away because nothing good happens if he stays there talking that way.”

Cullen said Mulcair’s intervention was aimed at making Van Loan back off. “For the Conservatives to try to spin his out that somehow (Van Loan) was the victim, I mean, give me a break … That’s ridiculous.”

Update 10:51pm. Mr. Cullen tweets at Mr. MacKay.

Check the video @MinPeterMacKay to see who came after whom. But we all need to work on raising decorum, I hope you agree with that, at least

Update 10:56pm. Elizabeth May chimes in.

@nathancullen @MinPeterMacKay @kady Just watched the altercation on video. Seems clear that Peter Van Loan is a sore winner.

Update Thursday. For the sake of comparison, a brief history of recent commotions is here. Morning-after interviews with Mr. Van Loan and Mr. Cullen are here. And this morning’s points of order on the matter are here.


Disturbance in the House

  1. I doubt that even Mother Van Loan can stomach spending time with her loathesome prick of a son. What has our Parliament become? How can this get fixed? The Speaker seems to be studiously looking the other way until the aide actually points out the altercation, and I understand this “altercation” happened right after one of his partisan rulings.

  2. Yahoos….always yahoos.

  3. Looked like a bun fight to me… who was the tattle tale dude that approached the speaker ?

    • That was Con MP Mike Lake – delivering a message from Harper?

      • He is up to no good as usual.

  4. I’d like to know what had Van Loan’s knickers in a knot. Was the NDP’s point of order THAT offensive to his sensibilities? Bizarre.

    • They’re reporting that Mulcair’s language was quite spicy too; however it was clearly Van Jerk who crossed the floor with a problem.

      • I’d still like to know PVL’s motivation. Just tired and cranky?

        • He knows he’s just a tool in the toolbox of a jumped up office boy and he blames everyone else besides his sad worthless self. Maybe it was at that moment the realisation of this hit home and he responded just like Ford did and went full mental jackass.

  5. Sore losers are bad enough, but the Conservatives got everything they wanted including the ruling on the point of order. Did they want to be thanked for doing it too?

    If the Conservatives were the macho sportsmen they pretend to be they would know that when you win the game you grab your water bottle and go to the locker room. Turns out they are weenies who want to hang around and puff out their chests because they know a body guard will save their ass if an actual fight starts.

    • Sore winners are the worst!

    • they want total fealty. zero opposition. utter dominance. they will settle for nothing less.
      frankly the fact that the #ndp and #Lpc have not stormed out in protest leads me to think they are already in cahoots with this regime, and are just pretending to be the “opposition”.

  6. The floor of the house, is, I believe, two sword lengths wide?

    • And clearly for good reason. They need to have a line in the carpet located directly down the middle of the House…that way there would be no argument that VanLoan “crossed” the line….

      • Apparently Van Loan is used to walking across to talk to the other house leader. But he had no right to do this with the heat up and he started pointing a finger at 3 steps from Cullen and Goodyear did not help when he knew there was trouble. So what were 2 Cons doing in ‘designated'(i.e. the heat- tempers flaring is on) enemy territory – its OK to do this when things are quiet.

  7. great election add for the libs,”this is what you get if you vote dips and cons”.

  8. It wasn’t exactly a brawl though, was it? Van Loan is too fat to start a brawl with anyone. Shelley Glover would be exactly the type to say “boys are being boys” what an idiot. Clearly the cameras do not show Canada enough of what’s going on, you cannot see the whole picture. #farce

    • I think temper tantrum is what Van Loan had, but for once it was met with real resistance. He usually does it from the safety of his own side.

      • Well, on the plus side, good to see Van Loan getting a (very) little bit of exercise with the physical effort of crossing the floor. It appeared to be so much so that he sort of collapsed when he got to the other side.

  9. I’m all in favour of a food fight in HoC, or some wrestling. Maybe we can sort out who’s the most fit to run the country that way.

    • Howzabout some boxing?

      • A reform M.P. from AB rolled up his sleeves and called a Lib Govt M.P. outside – this was in the HOC severel years ago. Has this video gone to Tahiti yet? What an example to the third world ?

  10. One question I have is:
    Why do we have a speaker when he is clearly as much use as a chocolate fireguard. You could see him looking towards Harper’s seat looking for directions on what he should do.

    • Your comment made me envision harper as a Roman emperor, gawd help me, in a toga, giving a thumbs down to Scheer. And that made me laugh.

      • I was watching Gladiator tonight and saw Maximus become merciful by ignoring Commodus’s thumbs down. When I read your comment I thought that there is no one in the CPoC with that kind of pride.

        Place men doesn’t quite cut it; I am minded of a carpenter creating wooden party members who have strings to hold them up, make them smile and make them frown. But can tolerate no real humans with their own thoughts in the room.

  11. Van Loan’s Statement = Weak Sauce.

    The ‘hypocrisy’ of which he speaks must have been exceptionally bad. Curious he offered no explanation of what it was.

  12. It’s high past time someone told VL to f’k off. Good on ya Tom.

    This is fun. I wonder if they’ll have to consider hiring Trudeau to crack a few heads?

    Mackay’s tweet is typically partisan. I mean he was right there and he still can’t seem to tell the truth. What a prat!

  13. Lots of floor crossing, too bad it wasn’t real.

  14. This Scheer fellow is quite possibly, as others have suggested, an ass. It seems like he’s in way over his pointy l’il head, and so, defaults to nebulous officiousness and vague grappling with stuff he knows little of.

    Van Loan, as a lawyer, should know better than to confront a colleague physically (There’s no audio, so who knows what he said?). In the picture he comes across as a thumped-out thug who has to be restrained by his bench.

    As house leader, he seems a preposterous, partisan joke whose current parliamentary demeanour could vindicate every eye-roll stifled by anyone who has had the ‘pleasure’ of dealing with him commercially.

  15. Van Loan for standing up for Canada’s economic recovery, tweets McKay.
    Strange how we stand up these days – Van Loan was actually down on his knees at some point.

    Why do Canadians like to be governed by thugs? I would hope people like this aren’t reelected, but I’m likely to be disappointed. Maybe being a peaceful country like we’ve been is what makes us second rate in the eyes of these thugs, and they want to change it to their image.

  16. What was the Sergeant-at arms doing? Isn’t it his job to police just such confrontations?

    • Where was the Speaker – MIA. We cant expect anything dramatic from Harper’s speaker!