Jack Layton decries "sexist" heckling from Conservatives in the Commons

NDP Leader Jack Layton delivered this statement in the House of Commons this afternoon:

Monsieur le Président, les citoyens nomment un député à cette Chambre pour représenter leurs valeurs de coopération et de respect mutuel. Nous assistons régulièrement à des écarts de comportement du députés qui déshonorent la confiance que les gens ont placé en nous.

During question period we have been witnessing undeniably sexist heckling from members of the government side. This abuse is growing hotter, it is growing more frequent and there is more bullying. I can hear some of it now, except in this case it is not targeting women as it all too often does in this chamber. It targets women representing opposition parties, all the opposition parties in the House.

L'intimidation sexiste n'est aucunement justifiable au Canada et ne peut en aucun cas être tolérée dans notre Parlement.

As a parliamentarian, as a man, a father, a grandfather, I call on the government's leadership to really get a grip on its members and set a higher standard.

3 thoughts on “Jack Layton decries "sexist" heckling from Conservatives in the Commons”

  1. I wonder if Mr. Layton made similar comments when Denis Coderre referred to then Environment Minister Rona Ambrose as a decorative flower pot or something similar, back in 2006.
    The Minister of Fisheries & Oceans Gail Shea is often drowned out by the opposition hootin' and hollerin' as well. I haven’t noticed Mr. Layton rise in her defence.
    In any event, I’m afraid Ms. Bennett invites hootin’ and hollerin’ because of her irate interventions, not because she’s a female.
    We women have demanded equality, have attained it by and large, and should be prepared to accept the same kind of treatment meted out to any MP who would say the kind of silly things in the same way Ms. Bennett has often done. I sometimes fear she may have a stroke right on the spot.
    I would rather Mr. Layton discourage the kind of nonsense viewers of Question Period saw on Monday:
    “OTTAWA — Six people were arrested and released, and two were injured — one bleeding from his mouth — after more than 120 people were forcibly removed from the House of Commons on Monday after interrupting question period with a climate-change protest. …”

  2. Good on Mr. Layton. The House of Commons has become an unfriendly place for women (well… I guess it has always been unfriendly). Time for our Parliamentarians to act like adults.

  3. It has become an unfriendly place for men too in case you hadn't noticed. Just because the target happens to be of one particular sex or another does not make it sexist.
    As Gabby has said, equality has been accomplished by and large, and if you can't take the heat, that's a personal problem and not a sexist one. Why should women be treated with kid gloves just because they're women? Conversely, why is okay to go after a male with both guns blazing and nothing held back?

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