Flying McGuinty brother apparently afraid of 60-year-old man
David McGuinty may well be a pussy.
Given the gravity of the exchange between David -- one half of the flying McGuinty brothers -- and Royal Galipeau today in the House of Commons, perhaps that isn't the politically correct way to describe him, but it may be accurate.
McGuinty, while addressing a fairly politicized question regarding the Official Languages Act and the repeal of the Court Challenges Program, apparently questioned Galipeau's credibility as a francophone.
According to all accounts, Galipeau stood up and walked across the floor to the opposition benches, and right up to McGuinty.
"The member was clearly out of control," McGuinty complained. "Using unparliamentary language, and in a threatening fashion, [he] grabbed my left shoulder and only left me side when when several of my colleagues urged him to stop and leave, but he wouldn't."
For the record, David McGuinty is 47 years old. Royal Galipeau is 60.
"He was really completely out of control, raising his voice, flailing his arms, gesticulating in a threatening fashion and making wild accusations," McGuinty insisted.
According to an interview he did with David Akins, McGuinty was comparing Galipeau's work on behalf of the Montfort Hospital, Ontario's only Francophone teaching hospital, to the Conservatives repeal of the Court Challenges program, and asked the Speaker of the House to investigate Galipeau's activities.
"I raised it, reminding people that when the member, Mr. Galipeau, was not a Member of Parliament, he ferociously fought for the keeping open of the Montfort Hospital but since becoming a member in this government he has done precious little, if anything, to fight for the program that was cut, les contestations judiciaires, as they say, the whole court challenges program," McGuinty explained.
But what does Montfort Hospital really have to do with the Court Challenges program?
In 2002, Montfort Hospital successfully used the court challenges program to resist restructuring of the Ontario health system that may have threatened Montfort's existence as a francophone hospital.
Yet Galipeau protested the Ernie Eves government -- the Progressive Conservative government's move to threaten Montfort.
It is in this sense that McGuinty may have a point. Perhaps cases such as Montfort Hospital do demonstrate the value of some sort of court challenges program -- but not necessarily the court challenges program that has been repealled. Perhaps a new court challenges program could be started, one that, instead of directly funding court cases, a program could be started that would instead reimburse successful challengers after the case is decided, in order to cut back on the number of frivolous cases being funded on the Canadian taxpayer's dime.
All the same, David McGuinty has no place challenging Royal Galipeau's solid record of defending francophone rights -- especially as a significant portion of that record was accumulated while Galipeau was a Liberal.
"I was surprised that an MP that I’ve always treated with respect should attack me," Galipeau retorted. "I’ve never, since my election, said a single partisan word in that House, not at the Chamber of Commerce, not at the Canadian Legion, not anywhere. So it just took me by surprise that a Member of the House would attack me and on what issue? That I don’t defend francophone rights? I’ve been defending francophone rights longer than he’s been alive!"
For his part, Galipeau admits he blew his cool. Yet, it's Galipeau's closing comments that best reveal the absurdity of McGuinty's complaint. "How can I be threatening to him? He's bigger than I am, he's stronger than I am, he's younger than I am."
Point taken, Royal. Apparently, David McGuinty is just a pussy.