Swearing in parliamentary history

So Jason Kenney has apologized, but not before Kevin Lamoureux managed to get “asshole” on the permanent House record. When that word appears in Hansard tomorrow it will be the first time it has appeared there since March 4, 1999.

On that day, a young Reform MP was reported to have uttered the word in reference to his Progressive Conservative peers.

Jim Jones: Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for Calgary Southeast for bringing this motion forward. Helping our families through tax relief is an admirable goal for any government. Certainly the Conservative government in Ontario has led the way in that regard. I would ask a simple question of the Reform member. In 1993 Ron Mix, a Reform candidate in Edmonton North, said this about women in the workplace. “Women are being forced to work under the guise that they are being liberated and enjoying the freedoms of the workplace, when in fact it is bondage”. Meanwhile, in a 100 page paper the Leader of the Opposition quoted from the Bible: Wives, be subject to your husbands as the Lord, for the man is the head of the woman. I ask the Reform member, as this motion deals with ending discrimination in the tax system, will that member also refute those discriminatory comments, or does the Reform member support those comments?

Jason Kenney: Mr. Speaker, what I rebuke are the gutter politics of the member for Markham. Shame on him for taking an issue like this, an issue of fairness and equity for families, which he ought to agree with in principle, and taking it down to the gutter. That member may not have recognized that the members of my party have engaged in a form of unilateral rhetorical disarmament with respect to that party. But as far as that member is concerned, that ends right now. Let me remind him who started the inequities for families in the tax code and who tolerated them for nine years. It was the Mulroney government. It was the PC Party which he represents which allowed this discrimination to seep its way into the tax code. It was that government which de-indexed the tax rate which has cost $11 billion to taxpayers since then. It has forced 1.2 million taxpayers on to the tax rolls since then. Shame on this member for accusing the Leader of the Opposition of quoting from his scriptural book in a negative way. To bring a member’s personal religious convictions into a policy debate like this is beneath contempt. There are all sorts of ridiculous comments that have been made by members opposite in the last week which suggest a discriminatory attitude toward single income, stay at home parents. That is what we ought to be addressing our attention to, solving the problem which is creating enormous pressure on Canadian families, enormous economic pressure—

Jean Dube: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I was listening to the comments made by my colleague from the Reform Party. I believe I heard him say that our colleague on this side was using gutter politics. I believe that to be unparliamentary.

Deputy Speaker: I am happy to look into the matter. I heard the expression. I did not immediately leap to the conclusion that it was unparliamentary. But at the request of the hon. member I will certainly have a look at the precedents to see if in fact such an expression has been ruled unparliamentary. It is borderline, but my inclination was to allow it. However, I will look into the matter.

Jason Kenney: What a jerk.

Deputy Speaker: Resuming debate, the hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Jason Kenney: You guys are just a bunch of assholes.

Eric C. Lowther: Mr. Speaker, today we are debating an important motion that has been a long time in coming to the floor of the House. In fact, too long, I would suggest. The motion is that in the opinion of this House the federal income—

Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Markham on a point of order.

Jim Jones: Mr. Speaker, I would like to have the hon. member for Calgary Southeast retract the statements he just made.

Deputy Speaker: Perhaps the hon. member could clarify which statements it is he is referring to. If it is the one I have taken under advisement, I am sure he will wait until I have had an opportunity to advise the House of the position of the Chair. But if there is something else that was said, I am not sure what it is he is referring to and I wish he would clarify the matter.

Jim Jones: Mr. Speaker, I cannot repeat what he said. It is unparliamentary.

Deputy Speaker: We are on a point of order at the moment. The Chair has indicated that he will look at certain words to see if in fact they are unparliamentary. I did not hear other unparliamentary words. If the hon. member for Markham feels there was something unparliamentary said, I will hear him out. If he does not want to say the words I would suggest he approach the Chair and we will have a discussion about it; but I am not prepared to order someone to withdraw something I did not hear that was unparliamentary.

Jim Jones: Mr. Speaker, he called us a bunch of assholes.

Deputy Speaker: That clearly would be out of order, but the Chair did not hear such an expression. Did the hon. member for Calgary Southeast use that kind of language? If he did, I am sure he will want to withdraw it at once.

Jason Kenney: Mr. Speaker, I did not articulate that word. I will withdraw any comments that I made that are unparliamentary and apologize to any members if they feel I may have uttered unparliamentary remarks, unequivocally.

Deputy Speaker: I think that resolves the matter. The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche on a point of order.

Jean Dube: Mr. Speaker, I heard you say my name quite clearly and I also heard the comments of the member from the Reform Party calling us a bunch of assholes, and that is unparliamentary.

Deputy Speaker: The hon. member has said that he withdrew the remark, and that is the end of it.

An honourable member: He didn’t withdraw.

Deputy Speaker: He did withdraw, and that is the end of it.

For the purposes of researching the recent history of swears in Parliament, openparliament.ca’s searchable database is indispensable.




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Swearing in parliamentary history

  1. Never has “it takes one to know one” been more apt.

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