By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday December 7, 2012
Near-brawl erupts in House of Commons
Peter Van Loan and Thomas Mulcair drop f-bombs in Parliament
A confidential report says A verbal dust-up in the House of Commons almost wound up in a bench-clearing brawl. Peter Van Loan, the government’s House leader, appeared to set off the incident when he stormed across the floor of the Commons to confront his NDP counterpart, Nathan Cullen.
Microphones were shut off but video tape shows Van Loan waving his finger at Cullen and speaking in a heated manner.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Cullen’s seat mate, stands up, whereupon a number of New Democrats surround Van Loan and appear to urge him to leave.
Finally, Defence Minister Peter MacKay rushes over, puts his hand on Van Loan’s shoulder and ushers him back across the centre aisle of the Commons to the government benches.
The contretemps was sparked by an NDP attempt to have a vote on the government’s omnibus budget bill ruled invalid because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had been absent, even though he was named as the mover of the motion to pass the bill.
Speaker Andrew Scheer dismissed the matter Wednesday as a technical foul-up, but an angry Van Loan apparently felt compelled to register his annoyance directly with Cullen.
In a statement issued Wednesday night, Van Loan said he walked over to the NDP benches to discuss the vote issue, a snafu he blamed on Deputy Speaker Joe Comartin, a NDP MP.
“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,” Van Loan said. (Source: Winnipeg Free Press)