Allegation and refutation of intimidation in the House -

Allegation and refutation of intimidation in the House


After Question Period yesterday, and after the House had finished celebrating the career of Peter Milliken, Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt rose on the following point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, the member for Mississauga South rose in the House and accused me of intimidation. I was not in the chamber when he raised the issue so I would like to take a moment now to respond. I want to make it clear that I did not make the gesture alleged by the member opposite, nor did I in any way intimidate the member opposite. Indeed, I am very cognizant of the fact that my two children, who are eight and five, watch question period and I would not make that gesture as a result of that, and not only that but also because I have respect for the House. Accordingly, there is nothing for which I can apologize to the House or its members. I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to address the incident. I regret that we have to take the House’s time to respond in this way. We should be debating and facing the real issues of Canadians: crime, criminal sentencing, stimulating the financial recovery of industry, protecting jobs and protecting the environment. Those are the things that actually matter to the people of Canada from coast to coast to coast.

Paul Szabo’s original complaint, with description of the alleged “rude finger gesture” in question, was filed October 2. His colleague Bryon Wilfert rose the following Monday to say that he had witnessed the same “rude gesture.”

Absent other evidence, the Speaker has declared the matter closed.


Allegation and refutation of intimidation in the House

  1. I think the real issue here is that she lets her kids watch Question Period.

  2. Doesn't it just fill you with pride?

    BTW, if I were running things up there, I would make a new rule effective today; immediate expulsion for any member who uses the hackneyed cliché "From coast to coast to coast." It's not clever, people. It's inane and smug and obnoxious and nauseating. STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

    Just in case any of ya's is actually reading.

  3. And considering that most Canadians actually live closest to a non-coastal border, pretty dumb.

  4. Cute sequence of posts, Aaron, but unless you can come up with something showing that this type of behavior didn't occur before, I think it misses the mark.

  5. For crying out loud,What is happening to our society? Rude finger gestures. Give it back. Or at least laugh it off – it's politics after all. Everyone has such a thin skin these days. The gesture may be inappropriate and i wouldn't want to see it become common place, now that we know some kids are watching. But it does indicate she cares, or has passion. Not entirely a bad thing. Heaven forbid every little transgression become an issue for hurt feelings.

  6. They probably change channels to the Cartoon Network as soon as she leaves the room.

  7. Paul Szabo is one of those SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guy).

    Every time I see him he appears to be on the verge of tears. Man up, Szabo.

  8. The real question is, can anyone tell the difference?

  9. When Baird pulls out that giant slingshot from Acme, you just know something crazy is going to happen…

  10. How about from now on we use "from near Seattle to near Boston to the rest of them."

  11. Personally I love it when Baird runs off a verbal cliff and tries to run back just before he plummets.

  12. Geeez, doesn't anybody remember the Liberal rat pack? They set a standard that has never been lowered to this day.

  13. Me? I never let my kids watch any TV at all except for watching American news when they are with me.

  14. I wish I could find that video of her climbing across tables. She brought a certain dignity to Parliament.

  15. Call me dull but I don't see what's wrong with everywhere.

    I'm not worried about the geography of the thing, it's the way that stupidity replicates itself within that place. A few years back some wit came up with the phrase which, while it was kind of stupid, at least had novelty to recommend it. Now that it's been repeated & repeated & repeated the novelty has been worn off, torn up, burnt into ash, and scattered to the breeze, and still they repeat it. And it turns out that the 'kind of stupid' it was, is the kind of stupid that grows like a tumour and gets exponentially stupider with ever single utterance. And it's the size of frickin football stadium now and they won't stop saying it!"

  16. And every time it is uttered every single person within earshot has a tiny bit of their soul and their intellect sucked right out through the ear in order to feed the massive growth that the stupidity has become. It's time to stop feeding it now, before it passes some horrid tipping point and collapses like a dirigible over the entire land (that's another thing that they could say in it's place) and drowns us all in a festering goo of stupid.

  17. Oh c'mon.. tell us how you really feel. :)

  18. Well, the Liberal "Pink Book" sure gives them a good race into the gutter. How about this little gem from page 24 just uncovered by Stephen Taylor:

    Under Stephen Harper's Conservative government, women are increasingly at risk for domestic abuse and violence.


  19. It's the frustrated artist within. Sadly most of them would be better of saying nothing rather then opening their mouths and merely confirming they have nothing to say – i think i stole that fom Twain, didn't i?

  20. I'm still in shock at the Pink Book's revolutionary recommendation that Canadian women deserve a “compassionate Canada” where women can achieve “economic and social equality.” How daring!

  21. I may be just getting old and sentimental, but weren't they occasionally amusing. I have vivid memories of Sheila getting up on that desk.

  22. I try to resist the urge to rant… but sometimes I fail.

    I must say that the teeny, tiny little comment window actually helps. I used to comment on usenet back in the day and some of those posts would run into novella-length.

  23. Stay classy, Liberals

  24. I don't have any memory of Copps pulling out the mommy card, the way Lisa Raitt does every time she finds herself in hot water.

    Her children, ages 5 and 8 watch Question Period? Yeah, right, Lisa.

  25. Either we need dozens of cameras on every member, or no cameras at all. This is ridiculous.

    • What is the answer? A friend of mind who attended the house before there were cameras told me he noticed members openly sleeping/napping or throwing paper airplanes. Personally i'd prefer that to this.

  26. It's probably because of some politician (can't remember who) talking about 'all of Canada, from (somewhere on the east coast) to the Rocky Mountains'.

  27. Mr. Szabo gets a big "fuddle duddle" from the speaker

    It doesn't seem to take too much to intimidate him, although Lisa Raitt is pretty imposing.

  28. Personally, I'd prefer the paper airplanes.

  29. And by the way, can we also make it illegal for any MP to use the phrase "what Canadians want"?

  30. Er…any chance ST pulled that beauty out of context at all JG – him being such a scruplously fair blogger and all?

  31. Hey, why is anger the only emotion permitted? Woman up, lgarvin.

  32. Stephen Taylor is partisan, but I would also agree with you that he is scrupulously fair as well.

  33. ..but not as dumb as thinking that 'coast to coast' doesn't include the geography in between.

    I think there are two attractions to the phrase that bear on its longevity. The first is that it serves as a reminder to central Canada that there are lands extending, and people residing, beyond Quebec and Ontario – something frequently forgotten. The second is simply a fond nostalgia for a time when 'Coast to coast' broadcasts were a big part of what brought Canadians together.

  34. so I presume that politician had no interest in the vast majority of BC being part of Canada.

  35. I can see how you would read it that way but i was being ironic.

  36. I realize where you weree coming from. I just wanted to re-emphasize the point that ST is scrupulously fair. He is partisan, I'll admit, but I've never seen evidence of him being unfair.

  37. Is all this sexier than medical isotopes?