Mr. Speaker, I rise today, also not happy about the motion and what I have to speak to. I never anticipated that I would see what I saw yesterday here in our chamber right in front of my eyes. I never imagined that I would be speaking to something like this, but it is where we find ourselves. I want to speak to this motion and talk about a couple of things.
I want to talk about what happened on a human level, in terms of one human being to another human being and the kind of effect it has on all of us, and the kind of example that it sets for all Canadians: for young people who are watching, for children, and for people who are aspiring to this job. I want to talk a bit about that, and then I want to talk about the ramifications as far as what we have seen happening over the last number of weeks with the government asserting itself over the opposition.
Yesterday, we saw somebody lose his temper. I imagine that frustration and anger has probably been building up, and maybe some of it is tied to things we do not even know about. Sometimes in life that happens. We go to work and things have been pressing at us and there are things going on. Our co-workers are kind of annoying us and doing things that we wish they would not do. We get angry and frustrated. What is acceptable in the workplace is to speak to that individual. However, it would have even been unusual had the Prime Minister walked over and spoken to our chief opposition whip. What was not and is not acceptable in the workplace is for that temper outburst to then translate into physically touching and pushing around the person that one is angry at. That is not acceptable.
If a friend of mine had said that she or he had just been elbowed in the chest by a co-worker or CEO because of being angry at another co-worker and trying to push that co-worker somewhere, that would have been a huge workplace incident. I see our Prime Minister definitely as a CEO, as he is in charge of our country, but I do consider him a co-worker in this place. We are all equal in this House. We all are equal, in as far as we are all elected, so I would say that the Prime Minister is my co-worker. With a CEO or co-worker, it would never be acceptable for that kind of action to take place.
With that co-worker who lost his or her temper and came charging over and elbowed people, and all of the things that took place, even if that person said they were sorry, there would be consequences. There would be actions to ensure it did not happen again. There would be some discussion about why it happened, why the individual is frustrated with his or her job, whether there are other things going on, and how the individual would get help so as not to do that again.
In my experience, I used to work with children in schools. I have seen teachers. My sister was a nurse. I have seen a lot of work situations, and I have seen people get angry, upset, or frustrated. However, it is rare to see a physical outburst, and rare to see people physically laying their hands on another person. That is concerning for me.
I will be blunt. That the Prime Minister felt that he lost it that much that he would charge over and do what he did in this place, being so public, with cameras and all of us around, the very men and women he is leading, concerns me regarding his judgment and his state of mind at that time. That is one piece of this that I do not think we should ignore.
I hope nobody on the other side is laughing. I saw some of them cheering when he charged over here.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say that it was a choice that the Prime Minister made. It was not an accident. An accident is when I am walking down the hall and I trip, and in tripping I accidentally bump into someone else. That is an accident. If I charge across the hallway in anger, elbowing my way, it is not an accident; it is a choice. The Prime Minister made a choice. He made a choice in this House of Commons, and there have to be consequences. He needs to do something about his anger. Let us call a spade a spade. He has anger issues, and he needs to figure out how to control them.
I am going to mention this very quickly. In the last Parliament, there were two individuals who were accused of harassing other members of Parliament. The two who were accused were part of the Liberal Party. At the time, the now Prime Minister was then the leader of the Liberal Party. He was the judge, jury and sentencer, and he immediately got rid of those two Liberal MPs. Their careers were destroyed and they are absolutely finished. I believe it was a different set of actions. We do not even know what actually happened in those cases. I would say that this also has to be taken into consideration. Let us hope that there is not one standard for certain MPs and another for the Prime Minister.
This also has absolutely nothing to do with the tone in the House of Commons, or what the NDP might have been doing yesterday or in the days before. This is not about the Conservatives. This is not about us in any way. It is about one thing: the choices that the Prime Minister made yesterday.
The Prime Minister apologized and said that he wants to make amends. One of the first things he could do in this House to bring back respect and civility, and to try to mend what he did, is to instruct his cabinet ministers to withdraw Motion No. 6.
My colleagues and I have talked about how the week started. On Monday, the government was embarrassed because it almost lost a vote. Because of that frustration, the government did legislatively what the Prime Minister did yesterday, when he came marching over. Motion No. 6, legislatively, is what the Prime Minister did. The government basically marched over and said to the opposition, “Sit down and shut up.” It smacked us down and said, “You stay in your place. In fact, we are taking away your ability to do anything else.” If the Prime Minister is serious about making a change and he wants to make amends, he needs to stop using the hammer on the opposition and taking away our tools. He needs to withdraw Motion No. 6. That is important. We have not heard that from him, nor have we heard it from any of the opposition members.
We also have to have some accountability at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. This cannot be a matter of the Prime Minister going to the committee and the Liberals doing what they always do, which is to hurry through whatever they want done.
They will have the majority on on the procedure and House affairs committee. We are all concerned about that. Therefore, we need to see the Prime Minister take personal responsibility that this was not a mistake or an accident. He has to deal with his anger issues, his temper, and entitlement, or whatever that was. I am not a psychologist, and I am not about to try to define that. He has to withdraw Motion No. 6 in order to bring some civility back to this place. The whole issue with this going to the procedure and House affairs committee is that there will be no credibility to it because of the Liberal majority. The Liberal members will push it through as quickly as they can and hope that it all goes away.
This has to be dealt with on those three levels. I certainly hope that it will be.