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Con MP Apologizes for Poor Conduct

From August 31, 2008

It has been a long time since the House of Commons was a space for polite or courteous dealings. Perhaps never. But sometimes an MP crosses a line that should not be crossed.

When Liberal MP David McGuinty accused Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa-Orleans, of not doing enough to protect the Court Challenges program, Galipeau did not handle it well. Galipeau strode across the floor to where McGuinty was standing to confront him.

According to McGuinty, "The member was clearly out of control, using unparliamentarily 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."

The rules of parliament state that members are not allowed to cross the floor, use inflammatory language, or use physical force. When the Speaker of the House is not in parliament, Galipeau, as deputy chair of the committee of the whole, is actually responsible for enforcing those rules.

Galipeau later apologized.