Kelowna-Lake Country MP accused of bullying in House of Commons

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan. - Capital News file
Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan.
— image credit: Capital News file

Kelowna MP Ron Cannan is being accused of "bullying" an NDP MP in the House of Commons.

According to a CBC news story, NDP MP Dan Harris says Cannan, a Conservative backbencher, entered the NDP section in the House of Commons Chamber, Wednesday, and exchanged inaudible but seemingly heated words with Harris before being escorted back to his side of the aisle by two other NDP MPs.

Harris told reporters outside the chamber Cannan "was getting belligerent and yelling at me from across the way" before appearing on the opposition side of the House.

"It's not easy to deal with that type of behaviour, especially in Parliament, where it's supposed to be a safe place where Canadians can come together to debate the issues and certainly not have to face any type of intimidation or bullying from other members."

He described the altercation with Cannan, saying "(Cannan) was coming down the row, yelling at me and he had to be physically restrained from coming at me…. He was challenging me to come outside. That kind of behaviour has no place in Parliament."

The altercation followed what NDP MPs say was a gun gesture International Trade Minister Ed Fast appeared to make with his thumb and forefinger towards NDP MP Niki Ashton after she asked a question during Question Period. Some NDP MPs say Fast accompanied the gesture by saying "boom."

Harris particularly took offence Fast's gesture.

The CBC story goes on to say Fast denied making the gesture despite the fact it can be clearly seen on video recorded inside the Common chamber. It is not clear, however, if Fast said out loud, or silently mouthed, the word "boom."

Cannan recently hosted Fast in Kelowna to talk about the last government trade mission to Asia.

As for Wednesday's incident in Ottawa, while Fast, Harris and Ashton were all quick to talk about it, Cannan was not.

Initial attempts by reporters in Ottawa to talk to Cannan about the altercation were not responded to by Cannan's Ottawa office.


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