Tory MP apologizes for calling all NDP MPs ‘Hamas supporters’

Conservative MP Jake Stewart apologized in writing to the House Speaker after calling all New Democrat MPs 'Hamas supporters' last week.

Tory MP apologizes for calling all NDP MPs ‘Hamas supporters’
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Conservative MP Jake Stewart apologized in writing to the House Speaker after calling all New Democrat MPs "Hamas supporters" last week.

Speaker Greg Fergus initially ruled November 28 on a point of order he received from an NDP MP on Stewart’s "unparliamentary" language in the House of Commons.

The unnamed New Democrat claimed Stewart used "hateful language throughout question period multiple times" last week.

"It is disruptive and disrespectful to associate other members with a terrorist organization," said Fergus before the apology, claiming they "do not contribute to the level of decorum that we all desire."

"In consequence, the member will not be recognized by the Chair until such time as he apologizes in writing to the Speaker," he added.

In early October, he vowed to improve the decorum in the Commons, before MPs voted for the new Speaker by secret ballot.

The Speaker’s role is to act independently of the government and adjudicate disagreements over the rules. If a member refuses to comply, the Speaker will cease to recognize them until further notice.

"As your Speaker, I will restore, and quickly bring back the honour to this Chamber," said Fergus. "What brought us here today requires a response. Words matter. Symbols matter. This, I know."

"I therefore strongly encourage members, from all sides, to choose their words judiciously and avoid provocative interventions," he added.

Conservative spokesperson Sebastian Skamski noted that Stewart returned to apologize following the ruling and retracted his remarks.

"I rise on a point of order. I was not here earlier when the Speaker made his ruling. I would like to offer my apologies and withdraw the unparliamentary language I used last week," said the Conservative MP.

However, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer posed why Liberal MPs did not face similar reprimand for "unparliamentary" language.

"You have now indicated that the member for Miramichi-Grand Lake has to specifically apologize to be recognized by the Chair going forward," said Scheer. 

"In fairness, that same standard should be applied to the members of the government who today and last week were making all kinds of terrible insinuations that are on par with calling other members sympathetic to or supporters of Hamas," he added.

The former Tory leader plans to review Parliament transcripts from last week to provide instances where government MPs and ministers spoke out of line. Fergus pledged to review that submission, reported the National Post.

Conservative MP Chris Warkentin noted Monday that Government House leader Karina Gould accused his colleagues of supporting Putin’s regime during the ground invasion of Ukraine.

When Gould questioned why Conservatives opposed updates to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, she posed: "Is it because there is a group of Conservative members of Parliament who are pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine, and they have to cover for them?"

Scheer stood again to read her remarks during question period, claiming a "tremendous [number] of similarities"in blanket statements by Stewart and Gould.

Fergus said he would consider that when issuing additional reprimands in the House.

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