Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Conservatives Behaving Badly (Again): Threatening Behaviour in Parliament

Liberal MP David McGuinty (Ottawa South) rose on a question of privilege after question period on Wednesday (transcribed from my videotape):

McGuinty: ...During question period, Mr Speaker, the member for Ottawa Orleans [Royal Galipeau - C], physically crossed the floor and began screaming at me immediately after I posed my second question during question period. I believe this is a serious question of privilege, Mr Speaker. The member was clearly out of control, using unparliamentary language and, in a threatening fashion, grabbed my left shoulder and only left my side when several of my colleagues urged him to stop and to leave when he would not, Mr Speaker. He was clearly completely out of control, raising his voice, flailing his arms, gesticulating in a threatening fashion and making wild accusations.

At this point in the house, the speaker had to call for order because members on the other side had been loudly moaning, groaning, yelling and mocking McGuinty as he spoke. McGuinty stayed calm and collected throughout.

McGuinty: As I was saying, Mr Speaker, even at the urging of the colleagues around me, he simply would not stop. He would not leave and until, [the shouts from the opposite side became quite loud at this point -catnip] until, Mr Speaker, he realized that he was being video filmed just as my colleague, the member from Notre Dame du Grace - Lachine was raising to speak - rising to speak. He then ran out of the camera because he was being caught on the camera lens.

Now Mr Speaker, this is not the first time that we've seen this kind of occurence during this parliament. This happened once before where the member from Nepean-Carleton crossed the floor to threaten the member from Mississauga South. He was subsequently forced by you to withdraw his remarks and to publicly apologize. Mr Speaker, this is a serious occurence in an instant when I felt, for the first time in my young parliamentary career, threatened by a member of this house. There is clearly enough here in my view, Mr Speaker, to warrant a point of privilege and I would submit to you, Mr Chair, that if examine the video footage which was captured here on tape you will see the occurence. I also think, Mr Chair, Mr Speaker, this is a particularly egregious and serious matter because this member is the assistant deputy chair of the committe of the whole of this house of commons. He is an officer of this house of commons and his obligation is to conduct himself with the highest integrity...etc.

Galipeau tried to claim that it was his privilege that was violated and painted himself as the victim because he felt his integrity had been hurt by a comment that had been made by McGuinty prior to his little visit to McGuinty.

Which privilege of yours was violated, Galipeau? The one that says you can sell out minority rights and then act like an heavy-handed ass when you're called out about it? I don't recall seeing that one in the rules or order.

Here's what McGuinty said about Galipeau during question period that caused him to have his little tantrum:

McGuinty: Mr Speaker, at a time when Franco-Ontarion communities were struggling, the member for Orleans and Glengarry had supported their efforts to save the Montfort Hospital but when it came to the Court Challenges Program this member was silent. That shows the fact that these members [Baird and Galipeau -catnip] really do not have any respect for official languages. Will the Prime Minister immediately restore the official Court Challenges Program to avoid further crises in the Franco-Ontarion community?

My review of the tape shows a finger wagging at McGuinty and a figure then walking away from him as Marlene Jennings rose to speak so, obviously, it did happen and a BQ member backed up McGuinty's claim.

The chair agreed to review the tape and the record and will render a decision at a future time.

No comments:

Post a Comment