The Speaker Loses It

As you can see from this post, I am a believer in Question Period. I find the drama between the two sides to be surprisingly compelling viewing.

Of course, it can get out of hand, as this transcript, taken from the Wednesday, November 27, 2002 sitting of the Ontario Legislature (courtesy the Ontario Legislature website) illustrates.

I’ve been looking for this transcript for some time. I heard it on CBC Radio and it made my jaw drop to hear Speaker Gary Carr to speak so frankly. It also illustrates just how low politics have sunk, even in Ontario under the Harris and Eves administrations.


GREEN ENERGY AND CONSERVATION

Mrs Julia Munro (York North): My question is for the Minister of Energy. We’ve heard from people across the province that the government’s recent announcement to lower electricity rates and provide rebates for consumers is exactly the kind of relief they were looking for. Obviously, this has been the focus of a great deal of media attention. But people may be less familiar with some of the other important aspects of the government’s action plan.

Minister, could you please tell us what the government is going to do to promote green energy and conservation?

Hon John R. Baird (Minister of Energy, minister responsible for francophone affairs): The government is firmly committed —

Mr Dalton McGuinty (Leader of the Opposition): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I distinctly heard our most eminent Attorney General call my colleague a moron. I ask that he stand up and withdraw that, now.

Interjections.

Hon David Young (Attorney General, minister responsible for native affairs): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I apologize for the use of that word. I know the deputy leader of the Liberal Party will want to apologize for using the —

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Order. It’s not going to do anybody any good to be yelling insults across.

Interjections: Withdraw.

Interjections.

The Speaker: Order. He did withdraw it.

Interjections.

The Speaker: Order. OK, you know what you can do? The government House leader is named. Mr Stockwell is out. The member for Windsor West is out too. You can carry this on outside, both of you. Mr Stockwell, leave right now, and Mrs Pupatello. You can carry it on outside.

Mr Stockwell and Mrs Pupatello were escorted from the chamber.

The Speaker: If you want to yell across when I’m standing up, continue. You can do it all afternoon for all I care. You’re an embarrassment, all of you; a disgraceful performance in here.

While we’re at it, do we want to throw anybody else out right now? Because you can all leave, as far as I’m concerned. There are kids sitting up there; an absolutely disgraceful performance by all of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Who has the floor? The Minister of Energy.


The March 14th entry of Warren Kinsella’s blog has another entry on Gary Carr speaking out. He seems a man of considerable personal integrity, not afraid to speak out, and to hold even his own party to account.

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