House of Commons Hears Van Loan’s Apology

The Government House Leader, Peter Van Loan, made an official apology to the House of Commons on Thursday for using abusive and ‘unparliamentary language’ in the chamber during an aggressive debate, or rather quarrel, between him and other New Democrats leaders which almost led to a physical confrontation.

Perhaps the NDP were still preparing their strategy to respond on the situation and considering their game plan against the ungentle show on the floor of the Commons on Wednesday afternoon. The quarrel began after the government’s bulky budget bill was passed after a voting on the same day. Van Loan’s apology stated that “I do acknowledge that I did use an inappropriate word … I should not have done that and do apologize.” This apology is assumed to be a response of the interim Liberal leader Bob Rae’s request to the combattants to “indicate their regret at what took place.” The heated aggression involved Van Loan, NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Initially Cullen was the original victim of Van Loan’s bad side, though after Van Loan dashed across the chamber just to utter his disappointment on a procedural matter, Mulcair intervened threatening him: “Don’t threaten my House leader.”

Although there was no physical confrontation, witnesses assert that both men did not hesitate to use harsh language against each other before being separated by fellow house members and asked to remain seated. Rae was witnessed joking about the situation at the Liberal’s Christmas bash only a few hours after the incident. He reportedly asserted that “If those two did have a fight, it would make sumo wrestling look like a fitness contest.”

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