Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi is calling on Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to boot a senator out of his caucus following controversial remarks made earlier this week.
In a statement Saturday, Ehsassi said Saskatchewan Sen. David Tkachuk must be removed after Tkachuk told a rally of truckers outside Parliament on Tuesday to “…roll over every Liberal left in the country… Because when they’re gone, these bills are gone.”
The comment, made at the controversial pro-pipeline rally called United We Roll, prompted outcry from several people who likened it to inciting violence.
Tkachuk refused to apologize and said criticism was “manufactured outrage.”
In a statement shared with Global News on Thursday, Tkachuk said his remarks were meant to be taken “figuratively, not literally” and that a video shared on social media did not include his full remarks on two environmental bills that he said would harm the oil and gas industry.
“When I said I wanted them to roll over every single Liberal, I meant it figuratively not literally. I was referring to defeating every single Liberal in the upcoming election,” the statement read.
“I was not advocating violence and I think everybody knows that, except those for whom it serves a purpose to interpret them otherwise; certainly, the people at the rally knew what I meant.”
Tkachuk’s explanation was not enough to quell criticism from Ehsassi.
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In Saturday’s statement, the Toronto MP noted the seriousness of Tkachuk’s remarks by mentioning last year’s deadly van attack.
“Last April, my community in Toronto was devastated by a van attack that killed 10 people and injured more than a dozen others,” he wrote. “There’s no place for comments like those from Sen. Tkachuk that incite violence.”
Ehsassi also took aim at Scheer for not speaking out and condemning Tkachuk’s statements.
“If Mr. Scheer continues to fail to take action, Canadians will have little choice but to assume that Mr. Scheer endorses the politics of hate and the incitement to violence espoused by his caucus member,” he added.
Scheer has not publicly responded to Tkachuk’s comments or Ehsassi’s criticism. Global News has reached out to both Tkachuk and Scheer’s offices for comment.
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This isn’t the only recent controversy surrounding criticism of inciting violence. Earlier this month, Liberal MP Adam Vaughan faced heat after tweeting, “let’s just whack him” in reference to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Vaughan later claimed his comment was in reference to a cartoon featuring Ford’s face and a whack-a-mole game.
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