First he was accused of making a sexist slur, now Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay is facing a far more serious allegation - lying to Parliament.
The latest charge from the Liberals came Wednesday after MacKay flatly denied referring to former girlfriend Belinda Stronach - a Liberal MP - as a dog in the House of Commons last week.
“I made no such gesture,” a defiant MacKay told the Commons. “I made no derogatory or discriminatory remark toward any member of this House.”
Last week, Speaker Peter Milliken said he couldn’t rule on the matter because the remark was not picked up by Hansard, the official record of the Commons. However, he agreed Wednesday to re-examine the issue after the Liberals said they had sworn affidavits from several MPs who insist they heard the remark.
The barely audible exchange in the Commons last week was caught on audio tape, with one MP asking “What about your dog?” and someone who sounded like MacKay responding: “You have her.”
Opposition MPs have said they saw MacKay gesture to Stronach’s empty seat as he made the comment.
Neither side of the fray is particularly appealling, with a slatternly flibbertigibbet seeking vindication of her honour against the bumptious cad who insulted it.
Shame on both of them for letting this drag on and wasting Parliament's precious time.
But shame especially on MacKay for demonstrating both his immaturity and political maladroitness. He could have defused with this with the typical non-apology apology that denies the remarks while expressing regret for the reaction. It would have been the sort of apology that the opposition would have settled for, and the story would have disappeared quickly.
By not doing so, and foolishly sticking to his story, he's now made himself a needless political liability.
In any event, he's now shown why he's unsuitable for leadership.
If not for his brief stint as the last PC leader, he wouldn't be where he is today. After the next election, let's hope he's not there either.
Source: National Post