Bob Rae: Just don’t call him old

Conservative Chris Alexander, the Ajax MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, coined a new term last week: “old Trotskyite.”

It was a reference to CBC senior correspondent Terry Milewski,  in response to the network’s report on the cost of Canada’s arctic patrol ships.

NDP St. John’s MP Jack Harris picked it up Monday in question period, asking Alexander if this characterization was the “official view” of the government and asked if he would apologize to Milewski.

Alexander did not. But following QP, former Liberal interim leader Bob Rae rose on a point of order.

The 64-year-old MP for Toronto Centre (who turns 65 in August) didn’t much like the term.

“Mr. Speaker, there was an exchange earlier involving the member for Ajax—Pickering on his use of the term ‘old Trotskyite’ in referring to a reporter for the CBC,” said Rae.

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“I wonder, if he is not prepared to apologize for the term ‘Trotskyite’, could he at least stop using the word ‘old’ as some kind of pejorative adjective?”

Alexander rose to his feet, and delivered one better.

“Mr. Speaker, none of us on this side of the House would ever dare use that word with regard to the member for Toronto Centre or indeed any of our colleagues in this House,” he said.

“Moreover, I would always take second place to the member for St. John’s East when it comes to deciding who and who is not a Trotskyite.”

At least he didn’t say old.

Follow Laura on Twitter at @l_stone