Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Why don't you go steal some more money from your mother?" ..... "Do you have a chemical imbalance in your head?" ..... Why don't you both shut the you know what up and save taxpayers money!

"Liar, liar toaster's on fire!"

Paul Calandra, Nathan Cullen exchange heated words in loud foyer exchange

Stephen Maher
Thrusday, March 6, 2014
Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Photograph: Postmedia News files)

A televised debate between Conservative MP Paul Calandra and NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen turned nasty after the cameras stopped rolling on Tuesday, leading to the two politicians exchanging loud insults in the foyer of the House of Commons.

“They were visibly upset and yelling at each other,” said Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, who witnessed the noisy argument. “It wasn’t one of their more distinguishing moments. They were definitely upset, and that’s putting it mildly.”

Calandra and Cullen had just completed two back-to-back panels — first on CPAC, the second on CBC - in which they discussed the question of privilege Cullen successfully raised against Conservative MP Brad Butt.

Butt had admitted making up a story about campaign workers stealing voter information cards for fraudulent purposes.

As the second panel ended, the debate continued.

“It was back and forth,” said Lamoureux. “One might have been more animated than the other but there were words. Both were loud and I would question as to whether or not it was appropriate. It looked very personal.”

Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said he took exception when Cullen made a crack about a Calandra family dispute involving his mother’s will, which the Ottawa Citizen has reported on.

“As we left the chair, Cullen said, ‘Why don’t you go steal some more money from your mother?’ ”

Calandra said in an interview on Thursday. “I obviously took offence at that and asked him to apologize.”

Calandra said he also asked Cullen to apologize for comments Cullen and NDP Leader Tom  Mulcair earlier made about Pierre Poilievre in the House of Commons.

“I then further asked him to apologize to the minister for democratic reform, both he and Mr. Mulcair, for what they said, the inappropriate comments during Question Period. They know what they said, repeatedly. That then became heated when he asked me if I had a chemical imbalance in my head, Mr. Cullen.”

Cullen said Thursday that Calandra’s attack on him came out of the blue.

“As we were finishing up, he just went off on some diatribe, calling me all sorts of vicious names, all the usual suspects and then some more,” he said. “Totally inexplicable. It was the most bizarre aggressive exchange I’ve ever had.”

Cullen said Calandra called him “a worthless human being, disgusting, a coward. He taunted me to run away. It was unbelievable. Even as I talk to you about it I’m not quite sure that it makes sense that this happened but it absolutely did.

“I stood and took it for a while, trying to figure out what he was talking about, and then absolutely said, you’re out of your mind,” he said.

The conflict between the two men was not the only outbreak of temper this week. On Thursday, during a debate in the House of Commons about tabling documents, Justice Minister Peter MacKay threw some papers on the floor.

Parliament breaks for two weeks Friday afternoon.



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